The objective of the study was to check the occurrence of phenotypic manifestations of germinal mutations in children born within a 30 km radius of the Paks nuclear power plant, Hungary. The study took the form of a comparative analysis between observed and expected rates based on the Hungarian baseline rates, as well as between children born before and after the operation of the nuclear plant. Data were taken from the database of the Hungarian Congenital Abnormality Registry completed by active search in the study region, and comprised 26,893 children born between 1980 and 1992 in the 55 settlements of the study region. The results were presented as overall figures as well as being grouped by different congenital abnormalities, in addition to the so-called indicators of germinal mutations: sentinel anomalies. Down syndrome and unidentified multiple congenital abnormalities. The observed occurrence of all but one group of congenital abnormalities corresponded to the expected rate, as did the three groups of indicator conditions. Of the 55 settlements, eight had spatial clusters; however, these could be explained by overdiagnosis or chance. There was no significant increase in the variables studied after the operation of the nuclear plant. We conclude that the slightly elevated radiation background (0.2-0.4 μSv/year) due to the operation of the nuclear plant studied does not affect germinal and somatic mutations in children.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis