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There are many health effects caused by leaked radiation from damaged reactors of a nuclear power plant. However, the effect on pulmonary system is not reported much. Focusing on the present nuclear denotation crisis in Japan, it is wise to review on the specific issue of pulmonary disorder and nuclear denotation. Several disorders of interest, including malignancy and non-malignancy disorders, are mentioned in the literature.
Accident in a nuclear power plant is a totally unwanted episode. The problems of nuclear power plant accident have been recorded in the world literature. Previously, Chernobyl crisis was the famous one, and presently, Fukushima crisis, which is the consequence of giant Japanese tsunami, has attracted much attention.
There are many health effects caused by the leaked radiation from the damaged reactors of a nuclear power plant. The preparedness to cope with the possible problem is a need post crisis. However, the effect on pulmonary system is not well studied. Focusing on the present nuclear denotation Crisis in Japan, it is wise to review on the specific issue of pulmonary disorder and nuclear denotation. Several disorders of interest, including malignancy and non-malignancy disorders, are mentioned in the literature.
A significant increase in the incidence of cancer, especially thyroid cancer, in the population exposed to radiation is noted. Focusing on the lung cancer, although there is no clear evidence on the contributing risk, there are some reports on finding the radioactive particle in cancerous tissue from lung cancerous patients with history of exposure in Chernobyl crisis.[3–4] Increased incidence of lung cancer is reported; however, there is still no conclusive evidence on the relationship.[5–6] A study in USA on the status of lung cancer after the Chernobyl crisis noted, “3,800,000 fatalities from lung cancer are estimated to occur within the U.S. population during the next 45 years”.
It is reported that exposure results in deterioration of chronic obstructive lung disease and chronic bronchitis. Bronchial mucosa atrophy can be observed and this can result in hemoptysis. In chronic non-obstructive bronchitis, mild broncho-obstruction at the distal level can be seen; however, laboratory indices usually show no essential changes. Focusing on the pathogenesis, changes in the fatty acid composition of lipids in the surfactant of the lung and deterioration of specific and non-specific immune protection are believed to be the main factors contributing to the occurrence of inflammatory respiratory diseases.[9–10] The main pathological change is transformed alterative, compensatory–adaptive and inflammatory reactions in bronchial mucosa. For management of the case, N-acetylcysteine at a dose of 1200 mg/day is recommended.
There are some evidences on the thanatogenesis of tuberculosis. A higher level of tuberculosis morbidity is noted. The patients usually present disseminated infection with high rate of smear positivity. “Overstrain of adaptational-compensatory mechanisms of the immune system that finally led to the development of T-immunodeficiency” was reported. However, the use of routine chest X-ray for screening of tuberculosis as well as other lung diseases (such as lung cancer) is proved not too useful.
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Conflict of Interest: None declared.