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Br J Ind Med. 1981 Nov;38(4):378-80.

A study of the mortality of Cornish tin miners.


Increased mortality from cancer of the lung has been found in several studies of miners exposed to high levels of radioactivity in underground air. In view of their exposure to raised levels of radiation, we have studied the mortality of a group of men recorded as Cornish tin miners in 1939. Using occupational description, a crude classification of exposure was derived for these miners. The meaningfulness of this classification was supported by differences in mortality from silicosis and silicotuberculosis. A twofold excess of cancer of the lung was found for underground miners, while for other categories mortality from this cause was less than expected. This supports the findings of previous studies on exposure to radon and its daughters. An excess of cancer of the stomach was also observed among underground miners.

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