Ionizing radiation exposure effects across multiple generations: evidence and lessons from non-human biota

Shayenthiran Sreetharan, Sandrine Frelon, Nele Horemans, Patrick Laloi, Sisko Salomaa, Christelle Adam-Guillermin

Research outputpeer-review


A Task Group (TG121) of the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) Committee 1 was launched in 2021 to study the effects of ionizing radiation in offspring and next generations. In this report, we summarize the evidence of multi- and trans-generational effects in non-human biota species that was discussed at the ICRP workshop entitled “Effects of Ionizing Radiation Exposure in Offspring and Next Generations” in June 2022. Epigenetic changes, including changes in DNA methylation, have been observed in trans- and multi-generational irradiation studies in both plants and animals. There were also reports of changes in offspring survival and reproduction. The reported evidence for altered reproduction is an area of potential concern, due to possible effects at the population or ecosystem level. Different considerations are also discussed regarding non-human biota data, such as transferability of data between different species or extending knowledge to humans, differences in species radiosensitivity, the presence of adaptive responses, and dose reconstruction for exposures that occur across multiple generations. Overall, there is a diverse range of available data of the effects in non-human biota, and it will require careful consideration when incorporating this evidence into the system of radiological protection of humans and of the environment.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Biology
StateAccepted/In press - Dec 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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