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Health Phys. 1993 May;64(5):461-6.

Determining person-years of life lost using the BEIR V method.

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University of Rochester, Department of Biophysics, NY 14642.


A method is given that permits the calculation of the estimated person-years of life lost when groups of males or females are exposed to low linear energy transfer (LET) ionizing radiation. It is felt that this determination is informative in rating risks to populations from radiation exposures. For example, when 1,000,000 females have received an acute 10 mSv, the total number of radiation-induced fatal cancers is 835. The total number of person-years of life lost is 1.4 x 10(4) or an average of about 5 d. However, the 22 who die of leukemia suffer an average of about 34 y. Those who die of other forms of cancer lose an average of 16 y. Some examples have been reported by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences (1990) report. In those cases where the Committee presented results, the method given here is in good agreement.

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