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Radiation exposure on person effects on it's reproduction

  1. Jul 17, 2016 #1
    Hi, recently this conversation came up with me and one of my friends talking about the nuclear tourists of these days which is becoming more and more part of urban exploration.
    Now I tried google but I mainly got results talking about the risk and effects of radiation exposure during birth and while pregnant but I want to know a bit different scenario ,
    say for example a person being a male otherwise healthy and capable of reproduction has received some medium maybe even high rates of radiation at some point in his life , like some of the liquidators in the Chernobyl and other nuclear accidents , now after some years or more he and a woman want a child , how high is the risk and if there is any at all that te child will have birth defects and genetic shortcomings due to the males exposure to radiation at some point in his life.

    Now for you to better understand my question , I'm talking here about rather high levels of exposure that a person has got sometime in his life and I wonder how does such exposure and cell damage in the body affect the genes given off to a newborn.

  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 17, 2016 #2

    jim mcnamara

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    Staff: Mentor

    This is what you are talking about:
    The article has some issues but is meant for non-scientists.

    Here is another:

    There are studies of second generation Chernobyl victims. You will note that studies done on endemic Russian populations are hard to find in the literature.

    In general, females are likely to incur more damage to reproductive DNA. In the ovary at approximately 4 months in utero meiosis in the cells that will become oocytes (eggs) starts and then is put on hold. So from the time a female is inside Mom until she conceives, that DNA material is simply "sitting there" for 20 years or more, exposed to environmental abuse. This is oversimplified but you get the idea. Environmental damage to DNA causes birth defects example: trisomy 21 - a kind of Down's Syndrome. Radiation damage does the same. It causes problems.

    Male spermatogenesis takes about 45 days. But in either sex residual DNA damage can be a problem.

    Everyone exposed to high levels of radiation, male or female, is at a greater risk of having children with birth defects and genetic disease than those persons not exposed.
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2016
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