Keywords: suicide rates, parasuicide, ionising radiation, low doses, radiation accidents, India, low radiation, risk factors
Suicides and exposure to low doses of ionising radiation
The suicide rates in southern India are very high (Joseph et al., 2003; Aaron et al., 2004), where there are areas of high natural radiation background (UNSCEAR, 2000). It was a stable tendency towards excess of suicides among the atomic bomb survivors exposed to low doses (0?90 mGy) (Kusumi et al., 1993). It was informed about the direct dependence between the suicide rate and the residency distance from the Atomic Test Site (Alimkhanov, 1995). Suicides are the leading cause of death among Estonian clean-up workers (Rahu et al., 1997; 2006). The workers conducting transformation of the destroyed 4th Unit of the Chernobyl NPP ('Shelter Object') to the ecologically safe system may be also under increased suicide risk. Whether exposure to low doses of ionising radiation is a risk factor for suicides should be elucidated by the epidemiological studies.