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Environ Res. 2014 Apr;130:43-50. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2014.01.002. Epub 2014 Feb 28.

Leukemia, lymphoma and multiple myeloma mortality (1950-1999) and incidence (1969-1999) in the Eldorado uranium workers cohort.

Author information

1
Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, CA 94118, USA. Electronic address: Lydia.Zablotska@ucsf.edu.
2
Radiation and Health Sciences Division, Directorate of Environmental and Radiation Protection and Assessment, Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, Ottawa, ON, Canada K1P 5S9.
3
Frost & Frost Consultants, Saskatoon, SK, Canada S7H 0A1.

Abstract

Uranium workers are chronically exposed to low levels of radon decay products (RDP) and gamma (γ) radiation. Risks of leukemia from acute and high doses of γ-radiation are well-characterized, but risks from lower doses and dose-rates and from RDP exposures are controversial. Few studies have evaluated risks of other hematologic cancers in uranium workers. The purpose of this study was to analyze radiation-related risks of hematologic cancers in the cohort of Eldorado uranium miners and processors first employed in 1932-1980 in relation to cumulative RDP exposures and γ-ray doses. The average cumulative RDP exposure was 100.2 working level months and the average cumulative whole-body γ-radiation dose was 52.2 millisievert. We identified 101 deaths and 160 cases of hematologic cancers in the cohort. Overall, male workers had lower mortality and cancer incidence rates for all outcomes compared with the general Canadian male population, a likely healthy worker effect. No statistically significant association between RDP exposure or γ-ray doses, or a combination of both, and mortality or incidence of any hematologic cancer was found. We observed consistent but non-statistically significant increases in risks of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) incidence and non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) mortality with increasing γ-ray doses. These findings are consistent with recent studies of increased risks of CLL and NHL incidence after γ-radiation exposure. Further research is necessary to understand risks of other hematologic cancers from low-dose exposures to γ-radiation.

KEYWORDS:

Chronic lymphocytic leukemia; Gamma radiation; Hematologic cancers; Leukemia; Lymphoma; Uranium miners

PMID:
24583244
PMCID:
PMC4002578
DOI:
10.1016/j.envres.2014.01.002
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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