NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search
Radon and cancers other than lung cancer in underground miners: a collaborative analysis of 11 studies.
Darby SC; Whitley E; Howe GR; Hutchings SJ; Kusiak RA; Lubin JH; Morrison HI; Tirmarche M; Tomasek L; Radford EP; Roscoe RJ; Samet JM; Yao SX
J Natl Cancer Inst 1995 Mar; 87(5):378-384
A study was conducted to further characterize the risks for cancers other than lung cancer from atmospheric radon (10043922). The 11 studies from which data were taken included 64,209 men, followed for 16.9 years on average. The overall average length of employment in the mines was 6.4 years, but it varied from 1.7 to 18.7 years. For all nonlung cancer causes of death combined, mortality was close to that expected based on mortality rates in the areas surrounding the mines. Mortality did not increase with increasing cumulative exposure. Among 28 individual cancer categories, statistically significant increases in mortality for cancers of the stomach and liver and statistically significant decreases for cancers of the tongue and mouth, pharynx, and colon were observed. For leukemia, mortality was increased in the period less than 10 years since starting work. Mortality was not significantly related to cumulative exposure for these diseases just noted. For death from cancer of the pancreas, mortality was related to cumulative exposure. The authors conclude that the increased mortality from stomach and liver cancers and leukemia are not likely to have been caused by radon, as they were not related to cumulative exposure. High concentrations of radon in the air apparently do not cause a material risk of mortality from cancers other than lung cancer. The authors suggest that protection standards for radon continue to be based on consideration of the lung cancer risk alone.
NIOSH-Author; Risk-analysis; Lung-disease; Mining-industry; Respiratory-system-disorders; Carcinogens; Underground-miners; Miners; Epidemiology; Cancer-rates; Mortality-surveys
Issue of Publication
Journal of the National Cancer Institute
MD; OH; NM
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division