Mortality (1950–1999) and cancer incidence (1969–1999) of workers in the Port Hope cohort study exposed to a unique combination of radium, uranium and gamma-ray doses

Abstract of the journal article published in BMJ Open (February 2013)

Authors:

  • Lydia B. Zablotska, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, CA;
  • Rachel S.D. Lane, Radiation and Health Sciences Division, Directorate of Environmental and Radiation Protection and Assessment, Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission
  • Stanley E. Frost, Frost & Frost Consultants, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

CNSC published in the British Medical Journal Open

Read the journal article: BMJ Open

Abstract

The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) has been published in the February edition of the British Medical Journal Open. In the published article, the CNSC and its collaborators presented the results of a study that looked at new cancer cases and deaths from uranium and radium processing workers in the Port Hope community. Uranium processing workers are exposed primarily to uranium, radium, gamma-ray radiation, and radon decay products to a lesser extent. The authors examined risks of these exposures in a cohort of workers from Port Hope radium and uranium refinery and processing plant in Ontario, Canada for mortality (1950–1999) and cancer incidence (1969–1999). Overall, workers had lower mortality and cancer incidence compared with the general Canadian population.

This is one of the largest cohort studies of workers exposed to radium, uranium and γ-ray doses. Continued follow-up and pooling with other cohorts of workers exposed to byproducts of radium and uranium processing could provide valuable insight into occupational risks and suspected differences in risk with uranium miners.

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