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Significance of radiation exposure from work-related chest x-rays for epidemiological studies of radiation workers.
Cardarelli-J; Spitz-H; Rice-C; Buncher-R; Elson-H; Succop-P
Am J Ind Med 2002 Dec; 42(6):490-501
Previous epidemiologic studies of workers at nuclear weapons facilities have not included X-ray exposures as part of the occupational radiation exposure. The research objective was to determine the contribution of work-related chest X-ray (WRX) exposure relative to the cumulative occupational radiation exposure. Cases and controls were identified from a cohort of workers whose employment began as early as 1943. Medical records for 297 subjects were used to determine the bone marrow dose from their X-ray examinations. Individual dose data, however, were only available for 45 workers. Bone marrow dose estimates were calculated by converting the entrance-skin-exposure (from X-ray procedures) and occupational exposure (from monitoring data) to dose. Stereoscopic photofluorography delivered a bone marrow dose nearly 100 times that delivered by today's chest X-ray technique. Photofluorography was the predominant radiation source during the 1940s and 1950s. The cumulative WRX dose was, on average, 50 times their occupational doses. No correlation between occupational and WRX dose was found, but may be due to the small study size and incomplete dose data. These findings illustrate the importance of including WRX doses in retrospective epidemiological studies of radiation workers, especially if photofluorographic chest X-rays were performed and occupational exposure to ionizing radiation is low.
Epidemiology; X-ray-absorption; Occupational-exposure; Chest-X-rays; Dose-response; Bone-marrow; Photofluoroscopy; Radiation-measurement; Humans; Medical-examinations; Ionizing-radiation; Employee-exposure; Nuclear-radiation; Radiation; Radiation-exposure
Issue of Publication
Research Tools and Approaches: Exposure Assessment Methods
American Journal of Industrial Medicine
Page last reviewed: April 12, 2019
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division