Micronuclei in lymphocytes from radon spa personnel in the Czech Republic
Purpose To assess the radiation exposure of radon spa personnel in Jáchymov, Czech Republic.
Methods The frequency of micronucleus-containing cells and the percentage of centromere-free micronuclei (micronuclei containing only acentric fragments) was determined in peripheral blood lymphocytes of 42 individuals working at the Jáchymov spa and 42 control individuals.
Results There was a highly significant increase in the frequency of micronucleus-containing cells as well as the percentage of centromere-free micronuclei in the lymphocytes of spa personnel versus controls. No individual dosimetry data were available. A comparison with results from currently active uranium miners suggests that the individuals examined at the Jáchymov spa had accumulated effective doses in the order of several tens of mSv, very similar to those of the miners.
Conclusion The spa personnel in Jáchymov needs to be monitored on an individual level.