NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search

A model for occupational health study of uranium enrichment plants.

Reinhart N; Muldoon S; Tollerud D; Aldrich T
Research Louisville, October 16-19, 2007, Louisville, Kentucky. Louisville, KY: University of Louisville, 2007 Oct; :1338
Research!Louisville has historically focused on clinical trials and descriptions of research projects, however, the introduction of the School of Public Health and Information Sciences (SPHIS) to the program opens new areas of consideration under the general guise of "research". This poster presentation will describe in general terms a study being conducted under SPHIS, and will focus more specifically on policy and regulatory challenges encountered in studying a uranium enrichment plant in Paducah, Kentucky, as well as best practices to overcome those challenges. This research is of local interest, given that the plant is in Kentucky, but is also of national significance in terms of modeling future occupational studies involving potentially sensitive information. Study Background: In a collaborative effort between the University of Louisville, the University of Kentucky and the University of Cincinnati, the authors are conducting a retrospective occupational cohort mortality study of workers from the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant (PGDP) for 1953 to 2003. PGDP's primary function has been to produce enriched uranium for use by commercial reactors. The objective of this study is to determine if PGDP workers have a mortality rate that exceeds that of the general population, particularly for cancer. Population Studied: To date, the investigators have compiled an occupational cohort of 6859 workers, attaining vital status on 99%. Of those confirmed dead, underlying cause of death has been obtained for 97.4%, exceeding original expectations. Data Analysis: The data analysis will include an all-cause life table analysis conducted using specialized software ("LTAS") and a longitudinal modeling approach for specific cancers of interest. The LTAS data format is compatible with the National Death Index reports by specific cause and date of death for insertion into the LTAS ICD-specific actuarial analyses. For our analysis, we will apply U.S. mortality rates as well as Kentucky state mortality rates as external comparisons. Conclusion: After September 11, 2001, policy shifts occurred within the federal government that had dramatic impact on studies of sites classified as sensitive, such as uranium enrichment plants. This presentation will present a model for a long-term occupational cohort study at the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant located in Paducah, KY, and present solutions to common policy and regulation barriers surrounding such studies. Learning Objectives: 1. Describe investigation process, constructs, and analysis created for a retrospective cohort mortality study of PGDP. 2. Analyze political shifts and federal policy changes (Homeland Security, OSHA, etc.) since September 11, 2001, which impact studies involving uranium enrichment and other sensitive sites. 3. Assess impact of Department of Energy retroactive health compensation policy change that recently occurred for past and present workers at federally managed sites. 4. Identify obstacles of occupational health studies at a site initially owned by the Department of Energy and then privatized mid-study. 5. List successful methodological solutions to the above-mentioned problems that are applicable to occupational studies in general.
Uranium-compounds; Cancer; Mortality-rates; Mortality-data; Morbidity-rates; Workers; Work-environment; Worker-health; Epidemiology; Statistical-analysis; Humans; Men; Women; Author Keywords: Occupational Exposure; Federal Policy; Uranium Enrichment; Study Methodology
Publication Date
Document Type
Funding Type
Fiscal Year
Identifying No.
Source Name
Research Louisville, October 16-19, 2007, Louisville, Kentucky
Performing Organization
University of Louisville
Page last reviewed: March 25, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division