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Chromosome aberrations among the children of atomic-bomb survivors (1967-1985)

Extensive chromosome analyses have been done in F1 offspring of A-bomb survivors to determine if radiation-induced stable aberrations in parental germ cells (reciprocal translocations and inversions). No evidence was found to suggest increased F1 aberrations.

Studies compared 8,322 persons with one or both parents within 2,000 meters of the hypocenters (estimated doses of 0.01 Gy or more) and 7,976 persons with parents beyond 2,500 meters (doses less than 0.005 Gy) or not in the cities ATB. Eighteen persons in the exposed group and 25 controls carried stable aberrations (Table). Tests of parents and siblings showed that most aberrations were pre-existing and inherited from one parent. Only one from each group had a newly arisen aberration. The origin of aberrations in 16 cases could not be determined because parents had either died or did not wish to participate in the study. Dose distributions, however, were similar in tested and untested parents.

Table. Stable chromosome aberrations in children of A-bomb survivors
Origin of aberrations
Children with aberrations
Control group
(7,976 children)
Exposed group*
(8,322 children)
Newly arisen
1(0.01%)
1(0.01%)
Inherited from either parent
15(0.19%)
10(0.12%)
Parental origin untested
9(0.11%)
7(0.08%)
Total
25(0.31%)
18(0.22%)
*Mean dose 0.60 Gy
Reference about this subject
Neel JV, Schull WJ, et al.: The children of parents exposed to atomic bombs: Estimates of the genetic doubling dose of radiation for humans. Journal of Radiation Research (Tokyo) 1991; 32(Suppl):347-74. (A review of 45 years' study of Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic-bomb survivors)