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Autoradiographic analysis of internal plutonium radiation exposure in Nagasaki atomic bomb victims


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Title: Autoradiographic analysis of internal plutonium radiation exposure in Nagasaki atomic bomb victims
Authors: Shichijo, Kazuko / Takatsuji, Toshihiro / Fukumoto, Manabu / Nakashima, Masahiro / Matsuyama, Mutsumi M. / Sekine, Ichiro
Issue Date: Jun-2018
Publisher: Elsevier Ltd
Citation: Heliyon, 4(6), e00666; 2018
Abstract: Background: Radiation doses received by Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bomb survivors has been evaluated from data related only to external exposure because there was no reliable evidence for internal exposure in atomic bomb victims. However, we assumed that the contribution of internal exposure cannot be ruled out. Methods: Autoradiography was carried out with the 70-year old paraffin-embedded specimens taken from Nagasaki atomic bomb victims who died within 5 months after the bombing. After exposure to photo emulsion for 6 months alpha-tracks were revealed in the specimens. We confirmed the alpha-tracks were emitted from deposited plutonium (Pu) in reference to the track length of the 8.787 MeV alpha-particle of thorium series from Polonium-212. Radioactivity concentration of Pu was obtained by counting alpha-tracks. The absorbed dose of each cell nucleus penetrated by an alpha-particle was estimated by calculating the absorbed energy from the particle. Results: Using old paraffin embedded sections processed about 70 years ago, we demonstrated for the first time that conditions in the aftermath of the bombing led to internal exposure to alpha-particles emitted from Pu, the fissile material of the Nagasaki atomic bomb. Dose rate of internal exposure was higher in the victims exposed outdoors than those indoors. Radioactivity concentration was relatively uniform among organs examined in a victim. Conclusion: Pu was deposited in the bodies of the Nagasaki A-bomb victims presumably via various routes. Organ dose from Pu of the Nagasaki A-bomb victims studied was during their surviving period, which is lower compared with external exposure. However, the impact to the individual cell nucleus by a single alpha-particle might not be negligible, It would be meaningful; to analyze the relationship of the impact of internal exposure at the cellular level and organ dose. The 70-year old pathological specimens utilized in our study are an invaluable source for understanding internal radiation exposure and are crucial in elucidating experimentally unreproducible phenomena.
Keywords: Biophysics / Nuclear medicine / Pathology
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10069/38487
ISSN: 24058440
DOI: 10.1016/j.heliyon.2018.e00666
Rights: © 2018 Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license
Type: Journal Article
Text Version: publisher
Appears in Collections:Articles in academic journal

Citable URI : http://hdl.handle.net/10069/38487

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