Several studies have sought to understand the health effects of occupational exposure to cosmic radiation. However, only few biologic markers or associations with disease outcomes have so far been identified. In the present study, 22 long- and 26 medium-haul male Portuguese airline pilots and 36 factory workers who did not fly regularly were investigated. The two groups were comparable in age and diet, were non-smokers, never treated with ionizing radiation and other factors. Cosmic radiation exposure in pilots was quantified based on direct monitoring of 51 flights within Europe, and from Europe to North and South America, and to Africa. Indirect dose estimates in pilots were performed based on the SIEVERT (Syste`me informatise ´ d’e´valuation par vol de l’exposition au rayonnement cosmique dans les transports ae´riens) software for 6,039 medium- and 1,366 long-haul flights. Medium-haul pilots had a higher cosmic radiation dose rate than long-haul pilots, that is, 3.3 ± 0.2 lSv/h and 2.7 ± 0.3 lSv/h, respectively. Biological tests for oxidative stress on blood and urine, as appropriate, at two time periods separated by 1 year, included measurements of antioxidant capacity, total protein, ferritin, hemoglobin, creatinine and 8-hydroxy-2-deoxyguanosine (8OHdG). Principal components analysis was used to discriminate between the exposed and unexposed groups based on all the biological tests. According to this analysis, creatinine and 8OHdG levels were different for the pilots and the unexposed group, but no distinctions could be made among the medium- and the long-haul pilots. While hemoglobin levels seem to be comparable between the studied groups, they were directly correlated with ferritin values, which were lower for the airline pilots.
Pereira, M. A. S., Silva, M. D. R. G. D., & Tavares, P. A. D. B. (2013). Occupational cosmic radiation exposure in Portuguese airline pilots: study of a possible correlation with oxidative biological markers. Radiation And Environmental Biophysics, 52(2), 211-220. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00411-013-0460-2