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Title: Epidemiologic Study of One Million U.S. Radiation Workers and Veterans

Abstract

The single most important question in radiation epidemiology is determining the level of health risks associated with radiation exposures that occur gradually over time. The study of one million early U.S. radiation workers and veterans has been designed to provide information on risk following chronic exposures by focusing on occupational groups with differing radiation exposure patterns, including intakes of radionuclides. The cost-efficient study builds on the investments made and foundations laid by investigators and government agencies over the past 30-40 years, which have established early worker cohorts that can now provide answers to questions on the lifetime human health risks associated with low-level radiation exposures. Within the overall goal of the epidemiologic study of one million U.S. radiation workers and veterans, this project had a total of nine specific aims which included studies of six populations for multiple endpoints including cancer overall mortality, leukemia and non-cancer mortality. The six populations included: Mound, Ohio, workers exposed to polonium, tritium and plutonium; nuclear power plant workers within the Landauer dosimetry and Nuclear Regulatory Commission data files; industrial radiographers; Mallinckrodt uranium workers; uranium workers who linked with the US Renal Data System; and nuclear weapons test participants. Over 400,000 workers and atomic veteransmore » are included in these populations, with vital status being determined and analyses of all causes of death undertaken. A critical, integral component of the studies has been comprehensive evaluations of dosimetry involving, in many cases, complex dose reconstructions, and assessments of uncertainties. The work has also involved development of state-of-the art statistical approaches and modeling. All nine aims were accomplished successfully, resulting in publication of two NCRP documents, 13 literature papers, numerous Boice Reports in Health Physics News and many presentations of the work at scientific meetings. Furthermore, recommendations have been developed for an approach to integrate epidemiologic observations with radiation biology for risk assessment and biological models of radiation effect. The results of this project, as well as ongoing epidemiology studies of US radiation workers and veterans, are providing much-needed insights into complex issues regarding cancer and non-cancer health risks from low dose irradiation, how to apply a "dose and dose rate effectiveness factor" to scale the risks from the A-bomb survivor data to current occupational and environmental circumstances, and how to evaluate risk following intakes of radioactive substances. In addition to application to radiation workers, the results of the studies can provide guidance as society debates the role of nuclear energy and deals with nuclear waste, threats of terrorist attacks with nuclear/radiological devices, the remarkable increase in medical exposures to CT scans and nuclear imaging, and to NASA as radiation protection for astronauts on long-duration mission beyond low-Earth orbit is planned.« less

Authors:
 [1]
  1. National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements, Bethesda, MD (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements, Bethesda, MD (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
OSTI Identifier:
1413399
Report Number(s):
DOE-NCRP-0008944
DOE Contract Number:
SC0008944
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
61 RADIATION PROTECTION AND DOSIMETRY; radiation protection; radiation epidemiology; low dose effects; Million Worker Study

Citation Formats

Boice, John D. Epidemiologic Study of One Million U.S. Radiation Workers and Veterans. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.2172/1413399.
Boice, John D. Epidemiologic Study of One Million U.S. Radiation Workers and Veterans. United States. doi:10.2172/1413399.
Boice, John D. Thu . "Epidemiologic Study of One Million U.S. Radiation Workers and Veterans". United States. doi:10.2172/1413399. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1413399.
@article{osti_1413399,
title = {Epidemiologic Study of One Million U.S. Radiation Workers and Veterans},
author = {Boice, John D.},
abstractNote = {The single most important question in radiation epidemiology is determining the level of health risks associated with radiation exposures that occur gradually over time. The study of one million early U.S. radiation workers and veterans has been designed to provide information on risk following chronic exposures by focusing on occupational groups with differing radiation exposure patterns, including intakes of radionuclides. The cost-efficient study builds on the investments made and foundations laid by investigators and government agencies over the past 30-40 years, which have established early worker cohorts that can now provide answers to questions on the lifetime human health risks associated with low-level radiation exposures. Within the overall goal of the epidemiologic study of one million U.S. radiation workers and veterans, this project had a total of nine specific aims which included studies of six populations for multiple endpoints including cancer overall mortality, leukemia and non-cancer mortality. The six populations included: Mound, Ohio, workers exposed to polonium, tritium and plutonium; nuclear power plant workers within the Landauer dosimetry and Nuclear Regulatory Commission data files; industrial radiographers; Mallinckrodt uranium workers; uranium workers who linked with the US Renal Data System; and nuclear weapons test participants. Over 400,000 workers and atomic veterans are included in these populations, with vital status being determined and analyses of all causes of death undertaken. A critical, integral component of the studies has been comprehensive evaluations of dosimetry involving, in many cases, complex dose reconstructions, and assessments of uncertainties. The work has also involved development of state-of-the art statistical approaches and modeling. All nine aims were accomplished successfully, resulting in publication of two NCRP documents, 13 literature papers, numerous Boice Reports in Health Physics News and many presentations of the work at scientific meetings. Furthermore, recommendations have been developed for an approach to integrate epidemiologic observations with radiation biology for risk assessment and biological models of radiation effect. The results of this project, as well as ongoing epidemiology studies of US radiation workers and veterans, are providing much-needed insights into complex issues regarding cancer and non-cancer health risks from low dose irradiation, how to apply a "dose and dose rate effectiveness factor" to scale the risks from the A-bomb survivor data to current occupational and environmental circumstances, and how to evaluate risk following intakes of radioactive substances. In addition to application to radiation workers, the results of the studies can provide guidance as society debates the role of nuclear energy and deals with nuclear waste, threats of terrorist attacks with nuclear/radiological devices, the remarkable increase in medical exposures to CT scans and nuclear imaging, and to NASA as radiation protection for astronauts on long-duration mission beyond low-Earth orbit is planned.},
doi = {10.2172/1413399},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Thu Dec 14 00:00:00 EST 2017},
month = {Thu Dec 14 00:00:00 EST 2017}
}

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