The Alterations of Serum Cortisol Level and Blood Count in Male Rats after a Short Term Exposure to Burned Radioactive Lantern Mantle Powder


S M Javad Mortazavi 1 , * , Majid Asiabanha 2 , Mohammad Reza Rahmani 3 , Mohsen Rezaei 4 , Vahid Pooladvand 2


1 Associate Prof, The Center for Radiological Sciences Research and Dept of Medical Physics, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.

2 Master Student, Dept of Biochemistry-Medical Physics, Faculty of Medicine, Rafsanjan University of Medical Sciences, Rafsanjan, Iran.

3 Instructor, Dept of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, Rafsanjan University of Medical Sciences, Rafsanjan, Iran.

4 Associate Prof, Dept of Social Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Rafsanjan University of Medical Sciences, Rafsanjan, Iran.


Zahedan Journal of Research in Medical Sciences: 11 (4); e94374
Published Online: December 20, 2009
Article Type: Research Article
Received: January 18, 2009
Accepted: November 15, 2009




Background: Most lantern mantles contain low levels of radioactive thorium. Although radioactive lantern mantles present a minimal radiation health hazard, it is generally believed when inhaled or ingested, it can be dangerous. The purpose of this study was to assess the effect of short term exposure to radioactive lantern mantle on serum cortisol level and blood count.

  Materials and Methods : This experimental study was conducted in 2007-2009 in the school of medicine of Rafsanjan University of Medical Sciences. Twenty eight rats were divided randomly into two groups of 14 animals each. The first group was exposed to 600 mg burned radioactive lantern mantle powder (activity of 800Bq) for 24 hours and inhaled radon released from mantles. The second group was exposed to non-radioactive lantern mantle powder at the same interval. Paired t-test was used to evaluate the difference in the means of cortisol and blood cell count in both groups. P<0.05 was considered as the significance level.

  Results: Short term exposure of animals to radioactive lantern mantle powder led to a statistically significant decreased cortisol level, while no statistically significant decrease was found in animals that were exposed to non-radioactive mantle powder. Furthermore, a significant reduction was shown in post-exposure counts of WBC in the case group.

  Conclusions: Despite alteration of serum cortisol level, this study could not show stimulatory effects in some blood counts.


Lantern mantle Cortisol Blood count Thorium Radioactivity

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