Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Mortality risk from leukaemia and cancer among radiation workers increases with dose

  • Comment
The risk of mortality from leukaemia and cancer among radiation workers increases with dose, according to a study.

Findings were based on a study of records of more than 175,000 radiation workers on the National Registry for Radiation Workers, which suggest that high doses of more than 0.6 Sieverts could triple the risk of leukaemia.

The risk of cancer excluding leukaemia increased by 20% after radiation doses higher than 0.6 Sieverts, according to the research.

Workers in the study were employed by organisations such as the Atomic Weapons Establishment, British Nuclear Fuels plc, the Ministry of Defence, Rolls Royce Submarines and the UK Atomic Energy Authority.

Analysis began from either the start of radiation work, the date from which radiation data became available, or 1 January 1995, whichever was the later.

The follow up period ended at the date of death, the worker’s 85th birthday or 1 January 2002.

The research also showed overall mortality among the group was lower than in the general population, which was put down to a ‘healthy worker effect’ because severely ill or disabled people were precluded from becoming radiation workers.

Report author Dr Colin Muirhead, from the Health Protection Agency, said: ‘The results confirm the cancer risk estimated observed in other studies even though, overall, radiation workers have lower cancer risks than the general population.’

British Journal of Cancer (2009) 100: 206-212

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.

Related Jobs