Mushkacheva, G., Rabinovich, E., Privalov, V., Povolotskaya, S., Shorokhova, V., Sokolova, S., Turdakova, V., Ryzhova, E., Hall, P., Schneider, A. B., Preston, D. L. and Ron, E. Thyroid Abnormalities Associated with Protracted Childhood Exposure to 131I from Atmospheric Emissions from the Mayak Weapons Facility in Russia. Radiat. Res. 166, 715–722 (2006).
Between 1948 and 1960, the Mayak nuclear weapons facility in Ozyorsk, Russia discharged relatively high levels of radionuclides, primarily 131I, into the atmosphere, resulting in appreciable exposure to the residents of Ozyorsk. To evaluate the association between thyroid diseases and childhood exposure to radioiodines, we screened 894 Ozyorsk residents born between 1952 and 1953. The study population was comprised of 581 exposed individuals living in Ozyorsk during the years of heaviest exposure and 313 nonexposed individuals who moved to Ozyorsk when radiation exposure from Mayak largely had ended. The screening protocol included a patient interview, palpation of the thyroid, cervical lymph nodes and salivary glands, an ultrasound examination, and measurement of fT4, TSH and TPOAb. Twenty-eight percent of the study group was diagnosed with a thyroid abnormality. The prevalence of nodular disease was significantly higher in the exposed group (20.7%) compared with the nonexposed (14.4%) group (relative risk = 1.4, 95% CI = 1.1; 1.9). Risks were larger for solitary nodules and for nodules ≥10 mm in diameter. Expansion of the study to increase the number of persons screened as well as detailed dose estimation would offer an unique opportunity to evaluate thyroid disease in relation to chronic exposure to radioiodines during childhood.