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Health effects of occupational exposures in PGDP workers.

Tollerud DJ
Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, R01-OH-007650, 2009 Dec; :1-33
The purpose of this study is to address the concerns about potential health effects of Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant (PGDP) workers from current and past exposures. A synopsis of these aims will be discussed below. The aims of this study can be summarized as follows: 1. develop a complete roster of past and present employees at the PGDP; 2. obtain copies of all electronic and hard copy files containing necessary exposure and personnel information; 3. develop a comprehensive list of jobs and job histories; 4. create a Job Exposure Matrix for chemical and radiation exposures; 5. link the Work History data with the Job Exposure Matrix; 6. evaluate worker Mortality for relationships with workplace exposures; 7. communicate the study results to employees and management. The study team has succeeded in accomplishing the goals of the study. We have identified and collected what we believe to be essentially all available data for personal radiation exposure, area radiation measures, and relevant information on the chemical exposures of interest at the plant. We have completed a comprehensive mortality inventory of nearly all workers in our worker roster and have collected or requested death certificates or electronic death data identifying cause of death for all deceased workers. We have developed a complete roster of PGDP workers that represents a non-duplicative list of individuals that are found on one or more of the above roster lists. USEC has provided a detailed index of personnel record locations; these have been explored on a case by-case basis to complete full occupational intervals and job activities. We have completed a list of job descriptions and have obtained job histories on all workers from the plant opening to 1993, and on many workers through 2004. We have developed the job exposure matrix (JEM) database and have collected all known personal radiation and chemical exposure data. We have run pilot studies using actual exposure data and are completing the analysis of exposure patterns by job category. We have collected final mortality data and have run numerous analyses using the NIOSH life table statistical software. We have run standardized mortality ratio analysis to evaluate the distribution of causes of mortality in this cohort compared to the general US population. We are completing the final mortality analyses for chemical exposures and are developing the statistical models for analysis of personal radiation exposure and mortality. We have worked on developing communication strategies and have met with both management and employee groups to update them on the status of the project. NIOSH personnel will be working with us to develop and present the worker notification presentations. The PI will travel to Paducah to present the results to employees and management and answer questions they may have. Final analyses and manuscript submissions are in progress, and copies of all manuscripts will be provided to NIOSH as they are accepted for publication. In general, the results confirm a strong healthy worker effect. The study also provides support for the relationship between radiation exposure and hematopoietic cancers that are consistent with previous studies. Increased rates of Alzheimer's deaths were found for some job titles, probably attributable to the strong healthy worker effect. There was some suggestion of a relationship between trichloroethylene exposure and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, and between metals exposure, specifically arsenic, and risk of suicide. Several methodological analyses also explored the Paducah data.
Radiation; Radiation-exposure; Radiation-injury; Radiation-levels; Radiation-measurement; Exposure-levels; Exposure-limits; Mortality-data; Workers; Work-environment; Morbidity-rates
David J. Tollerud MD, MPH, Department of Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences School of Public Health & Information Sciences, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY 40292
7440-38-2; 79-01-6
Publication Date
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Final Grant Report
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NIOSH Division
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
University of Louisville
Page last reviewed: May 11, 2023
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division