The ICRP, MELODI, and ALLIANCE workshop on effects of ionizing radiation exposure in offspring and next generations: A summary of discussions

Ämilie Degenhardt, Shayenthiran Sreetharan, Aidana Amrenova, Christelle Adam-Guillermin, Fieke Dekkers, Sara Dumit, Sandrine Frelon, Nele Horemans, Dominique Laurier, Liudmila Liutsko, Sisko Salomaa, Thierry Schneider, Manoor P. Hande, Richard Wakeford, Kimberly E. Applegate

Research outputpeer-review


Purpose: Task Group 121–Effects of ionizing radiation exposure in offspring and next generations–is a task group under the Committee 1 of the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP), approved by the Main Commission on 18th November 2021. The main goals of Task Group 121 are to (1) review and update the scientific literature of relevance to radiation-related effects in the offspring of parent(s) exposed to ionizing radiation in both human and non-human biota; (2) to assess preconceptional and intrauterine effects of radiation exposure and related morbidity and mortality; and, (3) to provide advice about the level of evidence and how to consider these preconceptional and postconceptional effects in the system of radiological protection for humans and non-human biota. Methods: The Task Group is reviewing relevant literature since Publication 90 ‘Biological effects after prenatal irradiation (embryo and fetus)’ (2003) and will include radiation-related effects on future generations in humans, animals, and plants. This review will be conducted to account for the health effects on offspring and subsequent generations in the current system of radiological protection. Radiation detriment calculation will also be reviewed. Finally, preliminary recommendations will be made to update the integration of health effects in offspring and next generations in the system of radiological protection. Results: A Workshop, jointly organized by ICRP Task Group 121 and European Radiation Protection Research Platforms MELODI and ALLIANCE was held in Budapest, Hungary, from 31st May to 2nd June 2022. Participants discussed four important topics: (1) hereditary and epigenetic effects due to exposure of the germ cell line (preconceptional exposure), (2) effects arising from exposure of the embryo and fetus (intrauterine exposure), (3) transgenerational effects on biota, and (4) its potential impact on the system of radiological protection. Conclusions: Based on the discussions and presentations during the breakout sessions, newer publications, and gaps on the current scientific literature were identified. For instance, there are some ongoing systematic reviews and radiation epidemiology reviews of intrauterine effects. There are newer methods of Monte Carlo simulation for fetal dosimetry, and advances in radiation genetics, epigenetics, and radiobiology studies. While the current impact of hereditary effects on the global detriment was reported as small, the questions surrounding the effects of radiation exposure on offspring and the next generation are crucial, recurring, and with a major focus on exposed populations. This article summarizes the workshop discussions, presentations, and conclusions of each topic and introduces the special issue of the International Journal of Radiation Biology resulting from the discussions of the meeting.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages2
JournalInternational Journal of Radiation Biology
StatePublished - Jan 2024

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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