These two letters to the editor and the reply to them concerned a NIOSH study of lung cancer mortality among uranium miners who did not smoke cigarettes but who were exposed to radon daughters. The first letter noted two flaws of the study, the first being that no validation was done of the lifelong nonsmoking status of the 14 lung cancer decedents by discussions with surviving relatives, coworkers and physicians. The second flaw noted was that no attention was given to the issue of what proportion of radon daughter alpha particle exposure was due not to uranium in mine ore but to tobacco smoke polonium-210 (7440086) present in mines, bars and home environments as generated by associates of the affected workers. The second letter to the editor contended that the conclusions of the original study were not consistent with the findings, suggesting that the conclusions drawn describe the cases that might exist with more cases in the study rather than stating conclusions based solely on the cases which were studied. These issues were addressed in the reply by the original authors.
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