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Title: Dosimetry is Key to Good Epidemiology: Workers at Mallinckrodt Chemical Works had Seven Different Source Exposures

Abstract

Mallinckrodt Chemical Works was the earliest uranium processing facility in the Manhattan Project, beginning in 1942. Even then, concern existed about possible health effects resulting from exposure to radiation and pitchblende dust. This concern was well founded as the facility processed Belgian Congo pitchblende ore that was up to 60% pure uranium with high 235U content and up to 100 mg of radium per ton. Workers were exposed to external gamma radiation plus internal radiation from inhalation and ingestion of pitchblende dust (uranium, radium, and silica). Multiple sources of exposure were available for organ dose reconstruction to a degree unique for an epidemiologic study. Personal film badge measures available from 1945 captured external exposures. Additional external exposure included 15,518 occupational medical x-rays and 210 radiation exposure records from other facilities outside of Mallinckrodt employment. Organ dose calculations considered organ-specific coefficients that account for photon energy and job-specific orientation of workers to the radiation source during processing. Intakes of uranium and radium were based on 39,451 uranium urine bioassays and 2,341 breath radon measurements, and International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) Publication 68 biokinetic models were used to estimate organ-specific radiation absorbed dose. Estimates of exposure to airborne radon and itsmore » short-lived progeny were based on radon measurements in work areas where radium-containing materials were handled or stored, together with estimated exposure times in these areas based on job titles. Dose estimates for radon and its short-lived progeny were based on models and methods recently recommended in ICRP Publication 137. This comprehensive dosimetric approach follows methods outlined by the National Council on Radiation Protection Scientific Committee 6-9 for the Million Worker Study. Annual doses were calculated for six organs: lung, brain, heart, kidney, colon and red bone marrow. Finally, evaluation and adjustment for individual cumulative measures of pitchblende dust inhalation were made for lung and kidney diseases.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [1];  [1];  [3];  [4];  [5];  [5];  [6]
  1. Oak Ridge Associated Universities, Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
  2. National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements, Bethesda, MD (United States); Vanderbilt Univ., Nashville, TN (United States). Medical School; Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, Nashville, TN (United States)
  3. EpidStat Inst., Ann Arbor, MI (United States)
  4. International Epidemiology Inst., Rockville, MD (United States)
  5. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
  6. Kerr Consulting, Knoxville, TN (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States); National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements, Bethesda, MD (United States); Oak Ridge Associated Universities, Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Vanderbilt Univ., Nashville, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER) (SC-23); Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) (United States); Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (United States); National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA); USEPA
OSTI Identifier:
1468171
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC05-00OR22725; SC0008944; SC0014664; NRC-HQ-60-14-G-0011; 5UE1EH000989; NNX15AU88G; 1824 S581-A1
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Health Physics
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 114; Journal Issue: 4; Journal ID: ISSN 0017-9078
Publisher:
Health Physics Society
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
61 RADIATION PROTECTION AND DOSIMETRY; dosimetry; epidemiology; radium; uranium

Citation Formats

Ellis, Elizabeth D., Boice, John D., Golden, Ashley P., Girardi, David J., Cohen, Sarah S., Mumma, Michael T., Shore, Roy E., Leggett, Richard W., and Kerr, George D. Dosimetry is Key to Good Epidemiology: Workers at Mallinckrodt Chemical Works had Seven Different Source Exposures. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.1097/HP.0000000000000847.
Ellis, Elizabeth D., Boice, John D., Golden, Ashley P., Girardi, David J., Cohen, Sarah S., Mumma, Michael T., Shore, Roy E., Leggett, Richard W., & Kerr, George D. Dosimetry is Key to Good Epidemiology: Workers at Mallinckrodt Chemical Works had Seven Different Source Exposures. United States. doi:10.1097/HP.0000000000000847.
Ellis, Elizabeth D., Boice, John D., Golden, Ashley P., Girardi, David J., Cohen, Sarah S., Mumma, Michael T., Shore, Roy E., Leggett, Richard W., and Kerr, George D. Sun . "Dosimetry is Key to Good Epidemiology: Workers at Mallinckrodt Chemical Works had Seven Different Source Exposures". United States. doi:10.1097/HP.0000000000000847. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1468171.
@article{osti_1468171,
title = {Dosimetry is Key to Good Epidemiology: Workers at Mallinckrodt Chemical Works had Seven Different Source Exposures},
author = {Ellis, Elizabeth D. and Boice, John D. and Golden, Ashley P. and Girardi, David J. and Cohen, Sarah S. and Mumma, Michael T. and Shore, Roy E. and Leggett, Richard W. and Kerr, George D.},
abstractNote = {Mallinckrodt Chemical Works was the earliest uranium processing facility in the Manhattan Project, beginning in 1942. Even then, concern existed about possible health effects resulting from exposure to radiation and pitchblende dust. This concern was well founded as the facility processed Belgian Congo pitchblende ore that was up to 60% pure uranium with high 235U content and up to 100 mg of radium per ton. Workers were exposed to external gamma radiation plus internal radiation from inhalation and ingestion of pitchblende dust (uranium, radium, and silica). Multiple sources of exposure were available for organ dose reconstruction to a degree unique for an epidemiologic study. Personal film badge measures available from 1945 captured external exposures. Additional external exposure included 15,518 occupational medical x-rays and 210 radiation exposure records from other facilities outside of Mallinckrodt employment. Organ dose calculations considered organ-specific coefficients that account for photon energy and job-specific orientation of workers to the radiation source during processing. Intakes of uranium and radium were based on 39,451 uranium urine bioassays and 2,341 breath radon measurements, and International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) Publication 68 biokinetic models were used to estimate organ-specific radiation absorbed dose. Estimates of exposure to airborne radon and its short-lived progeny were based on radon measurements in work areas where radium-containing materials were handled or stored, together with estimated exposure times in these areas based on job titles. Dose estimates for radon and its short-lived progeny were based on models and methods recently recommended in ICRP Publication 137. This comprehensive dosimetric approach follows methods outlined by the National Council on Radiation Protection Scientific Committee 6-9 for the Million Worker Study. Annual doses were calculated for six organs: lung, brain, heart, kidney, colon and red bone marrow. Finally, evaluation and adjustment for individual cumulative measures of pitchblende dust inhalation were made for lung and kidney diseases.},
doi = {10.1097/HP.0000000000000847},
journal = {Health Physics},
issn = {0017-9078},
number = 4,
volume = 114,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {4}
}

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