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Alice Hamilton Awards: Research Updates for 2012 - Epidemiology and Surveillance

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Robert Daniels and Mary Schubauer-Berigan

A meta analysis of leukaemia risk from protracted exposure to low dose gamma radiation.

Since the award, we have continued our research by completing a longitudinal study of leukemia mortality in a cohort of 105,245 U.S. nuclear workers (Daniels et al. 2013). Workers were included if employed for at least 30 days in one of six nuclear facilities: the Hanford Site (Hanford) near Richland, Washington; the Savannah River Site (SRS) near Aiken, South Carolina; the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in Oak Ridge, Tennessee; the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), including the Zia Company employees, in Los Alamos, New Mexico; the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) near Idaho Falls, Idaho; and the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard (PNS) in Kittery, Maine. Continuing into the future, we are in the process of pooling the U.S. data with those of France and the U.K. to provide more informative estimates of leukemia and other cancer risk following protracted occupational radiation exposure.

The translation of risks observed in Japanese atomic-bomb survivors to a working population is uncertain, yet this is the primary source for basing protection standards. Direct estimates of risk in working populations are often preferred for occupational health purposes; however, low-dose effects are more difficult to discern and estimates of small risks are highly susceptible to bias. Our project addresses these issues and provides new insights into methods for examining radiation risks at low doses.

Our research findings were presented at the American Statistical Association Conference on Radiation and Health, held June 10-13, 2012.

Daniels RD, Bertke S, Waters KM, Schubauer-Berigan MK [2013]. Risk of leukaemia mortality from exposure to ionising radiation in US nuclear workers: a pooled case-control study. Occup Environ Med 2013; 70:41-48 DOI:10.1136/oemed-2012-100906

 
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  • Page last updated: April 26, 2013
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