Chromosome aberration analysis in Concorde pilots

Mutat Res. 2000 May 8;467(2):169-76. doi: 10.1016/s1383-5718(00)00032-2.


Chromosomal aberrations, micronuclei, and sister chromatid exchanges have been analysed in human peripheral lymphocytes of 18 Concorde pilots and 10 controls. There was an eightfold significant increase of dicentric chromosomes in the Concorde group. The yield of micronuclei was also significantly elevated. Sister chromatid exchanges in the Concorde group did not differ from the control. Comparing the results to flight personnel from subsonic routes, the dicentric yield was higher in personnel from supersonic crews but the difference was not statistically significant. The overdispersion of dicentric chromosomes showed the influence of high LET cosmic radiation. The estimated mean dose per year ranged from 11 to 37 mSv depending on the radiation weighting factor for neutrons. It is recommended that actual and future high-speed transport should consider not only physical measurements, but also biological data like the frequencies of chromosomal aberrations because the latter reflect sensitively the high biological effectiveness of cosmic radiation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aircraft*
  • Chromosome Aberrations*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Radiation
  • Humans
  • Lymphocytes / cytology
  • Lymphocytes / metabolism
  • Lymphocytes / radiation effects
  • Male
  • Micronuclei, Chromosome-Defective / radiation effects
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Diseases / etiology
  • Occupational Diseases / genetics*
  • Occupational Exposure / adverse effects
  • Radiation
  • Sister Chromatid Exchange / radiation effects
  • Translocation, Genetic / radiation effects