ABSTRACT In this work, the effect of different ultra-low doses of X-ray on human erythrocytes was investigated. Also, the effect of ascorbic acid added to erythrocyte suspension before X-rays was studied. The mean X-ray exposure level was about 10 µGy/h. Samples of erythrocytes suspension with and without ascorbic acid was exposed to X-ray doses in the range from 2.5 to 20 µGy. The obtained results showed pronounced radio-hemolysis of erythrocytes at doses starting from nearly 7.5 µGy. The effect was enhanced, for low doses, when ascorbic acid of relatively high concentration was added to erythrocyte samples. The changes may be attributed to a dose-dependent damage by oxidative stress at the level of the whole cell and to the production of reactive oxygen species, which can cause this damage. It may be concluded that X-rays, even at low levels of exposure, can induce oxidizing effect on erythrocytes. Accordingly, such results should be taken into account for workers operating on X-rays equipments.
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