Does occupational ionizing radiation exposure in healthcare workers affect their hematological parameters?

Gungordu N., Kurtul S., ÖZDİL A., Erdogan M. S.

ARCHIVES OF ENVIRONMENTAL & OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH, vol.78, no.2, pp.80-87, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 78 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/19338244.2022.2089088
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, EMBASE, Environment Index, MEDLINE, Veterinary Science Database
  • Page Numbers: pp.80-87
  • Keywords: Ionizing radiation, occupational exposure, hematological parameters, occupational diseases, workers, exposure assessment
  • Istanbul University Affiliated: Yes


Blood cells are used as the most sensitive marker to determine the effects and intensity of ionizing radiation. This descriptive study aimed to evaluate the effect of radiation exposure on hematological parameters in healthcare workers who were exposed to radiation in a university hospital between May and June 2021. A total of 339 participants were included, of which 169 (49.9%) were radiation workers and 170 (50.1%) were in the control group. A decrease was observed in white blood cell and neutrophil counts in those exposed to ionizing radiation for less than 10 years; however, white blood cell, neutrophil, hemoglobin levels decreased, and red cell distribution width (RDW) levels increased in those exposed to ionizing radiation for 10 years or more (p < 0.005). A statistically significant increase was observed in the RDW and lymphocyte levels as the years of work experience in the profession increase in the group exposed to IR. The findings indicate that the effect of low-dose ionizing radiation on the hematopoietic system is related to the frequency and duration of the dose. Hematological parameters can be sensitive biomarkers of low-dose ionizing radiation; possible disturbances in the hematopoietic system can be recognized before the onset of symptoms, and necessary precautions can be taken promptly.