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workers, building, architect

NORA Manufacturing Sector Strategic Goals

927ZAAY - Updates to Energy-Related Mortality and Incidence Studies

Start Date: 10/1/2007
End Date: 9/30/2012

Principal Investigator (PI)
Name: James Yiin
Phone: 513-841-4271
Organization: NIOSH
Sub-Unit: DSHEFS
Funded By: NIOSH

Primary Goals Addressed
6.0 6.0 9.0

Secondary Goal Addressed

Attributed to Manufacturing


Project Description

Short Summary

The project purpose is to update existing mortality and incidence studies conducted under the Occupational Energy Research Program (OERP).

This project directly relates to NIOSH’s authority under the HHS/DOE Memorandum of Understanding to conduct research at DOE facilities. Specifically, this research focuses on updates to existing NIOSH epidemiologic studies of workers occupationally exposed to ionizing radiation and hazardous materials.

With few exceptions, occupational studies published to date are based on relatively short follow-up periods, and most workers were still young at the end of follow-up. Continued follow-up into the next decades will result in older cohorts and increased mortality rates. Large numbers of deaths in mortality studies mean greater power to detect meaningful changes in cancer risk that might be associated with radiation and chemical exposures.

The major outputs are journal articles on mortality among workers at INL and PNS. The intermediate outcomes are journal articles by researchers external to NIOSH citing our articles. In addition, results from this project are used by regulatory agencies and organizations such as OSHA that develop guidelines related to ionizing radiation exposure in their evaluations.


The project purpose is to update existing mortality and incidence studies conducted under the Occupational Energy Research Program (OERP). These studies have undergone review by the NIOSH Human Subjects Review Board and rigorous peerreview during development and earlier phases of completion. HSRB and peer-review will continue according to NIOSH policy during the conduct of successive updates under this project plan.

Mission Relevance

This project is consistent with recent recommendations made by a committee of the National Academies following a 16-month review of the Worker and Public Health Activities Program. The program is sponsored by the Department of Energy (DOE) and conducted by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). Under this program, NIOSH conducts research on occupational causes of cancer and other disease among nuclear workers.

The update will include 63,561 civilian workers at the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) and 13,468 radiation monitored workers at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard (PNS). The vital status follow-up is extended through 2004.

The results of this research will be used to conduct risk assessments in establishing occupational exposure standards and to develop and implement intervention methods, where indicated, to reduce worker exposures. Thus workers, DOE management and contractors, community residents, and the scientific community will benefit from this research.