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Dose-dependent analysis of acute medical effects of mixed neutron-gamma radiation from selected severe 235U or 239Pu criticality accidents in USSR, United States, and Argentina.

Abstract

Eight of the most severe cases of acute radiation disease (ARS) known to have occurred in humans (as the result of criticality accidents) had survival times less than 120 h (herein defined as "early death"). These accidents were analyzed and are discussed with respect to the specific accident scenarios and the resulting accident-specific, mixed neutron-gamma radiation clinical dose distributions. This analysis concludes that the cardiovascular system appears to be the most critical organ system failure for causing "early death" following approximate total body, mixed gamma-neutron radiation doses greater than 40-50 Gy. The clinical data also suggest that there was definite chest dose dependence in the resulting survival times for these eight workers, who unfortunately suffered profound radiation injury and unusual clinical effects from such high dose radiation exposures. In addition, "toxemic syndrome" is correlated with the irradiation of large volumes of soft tissues. Doses to the hands or legs greater than 80-100 Gy or radiation lung injury also play significant but secondary roles in causing "early death" in accidents delivering chest doses greater than 50 Gy.

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  • Publisher Full Text
  • Authors

    Barabanova T, Wiley AL, Bushmanov A

    Source

    Health physics 102:4 2012 Apr pg 391-9

    MeSH

    Argentina
    Dose-Response Relationship, Radiation
    Environmental Exposure
    Gamma Rays
    Humans
    Neutrons
    Plutonium
    Radiation Injuries
    Radioactive Hazard Release
    Time Factors
    USSR
    United States
    Uranium

    Pub Type(s)

    Journal Article
    Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

    Language

    eng

    PubMed ID

    22378200