Radon - 195 entries found
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Radon, invisible but dangerous
Le radon, invisible mais dangereux [in French]
Radon is a lung carcinogen and a hazard for inhabitants of contaminated buildings. Construction industry workers are also exposed to radon, in particular when they work underground. This article presents an overview of hazards related to radon and the preventive measures on construction sites (monitoring, limitation of exposure by means of technical and organizational measures).
Prévention BTP, Oct. 2011, No.146, p.48-50. Illus.
Le radon_invisible_mais_dangereux_[BUY_THIS_ARTICLE] [in French]
Plan_d'actions_interministériel_2005-2008_(INFO)_[INTERNET_FREE_ACCESS] [in French]
Ionizing radiation_Radon_(WHO_INFO)_[INTERNET_FREE_ACCESS] [in English]
Jonsson H., Bergdahl I.A., Åkerblom G., Eriksson K., Andersson K., Kågström L., Järvholm B., Damber L.
Lung cancer risk and radon exposure in a cohort of iron ore miners in Malmberget, Sweden
Lung cancer caused by radon in miners is a well-known risk. However, the risk estimates vary between studies and between mines. This study evaluates the dose response-relationship in a Swedish iron ore mine for which two earlier studies had reached different risk estimates. As this mine has relatively low radon levels, the results are highly relevant for risk estimation in non-uranium underground mines. A new cohort of 5486 male workers employed from 1923 to 1996 was established. Cumulative radon exposures were assessed based on a large number of measurements, including reconstructions of historical conditions. 122 lung cancer cases occurred during the follow-up period of 1958-2000. The average cumulative exposure in underground workers was 32 kBq year/m3h (65 working level months (WLM)), experienced over 14.6 years. The excess RR (ERR) per kBq year/m3h was 0.046. Confounding by quartz may affect these results but appears to account only for 10-20% of the risk. The results for squamous cell and small cell lung cancer were 0.049 and 0.072, respectively. However, no increased risk was observed for adenocarcinoma. The overall risk estimate is about half of that found in the first study for this mine but twice that found in the same cohort in the previously published pooled analysis. Radon did not increase the risk for adenocarcinoma in the lung.
Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Aug. 2010, Vol.67, No.8, p.519-525. Illus. 19 ref.
Bergdahl I.A., Jonsson H., Eriksson K., Damber L., Järvholm B.
Lung cancer and exposure to quartz and diesel exhaust in Swedish iron ore miners with concurrent exposure to radon
Studies of underground miners have documented an increased risk of lung cancer mainly linked to radon exposure but possibly influenced by other concurrent exposures. A cohort study was carried out in 8321 iron ore miners with low exposure to radon, employed from 1923 to 1998 and followed up for lung cancer from 1958 to 2000. Historical exposures to radon, crystalline silica and diesel exhaust were assessed. Data including exposure to radon, quartz and diesel exhaust from another mine with higher exposure to radon were reanalysed. Miners had increased risk for lung cancer (SIR 1.48) based on 112 cases during 227,000 person-years. The increased risk could not be explained by exposure to radon or diesel exhaust but was associated with increasing exposure to crystalline silica: SIR 0.96, 1.45, 1.99 and 1.77 in groups with exposure to 0, 0-2, 2-5 and >5 mg years/m@3h, respectively. Reanalysis of data from the other mine indicated that quartz was a possible confounder in the analysis of the relationship between radon and lung cancer. In the highest radon exposed group, the point estimate for the RR decreased from 5.65 to 3.90 when adjusting for concurrent exposure to quartz. It is concluded that crystalline silica, a known carcinogen, probably affects lung cancer risk in iron ore miners. The main implication of the results is for interpretation of the dose-response curve for radon and lung cancer in underground iron ore miners. Since exposure to radon and quartz is often correlated, quartz exposure can be an important confounder.
Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Aug. 2010, Vol.67, No.8, p.513-518. 15 ref.
Taeger D., Johnen G., Wiethege T., Tapio S., Möhner M., Wesch H., Tannapfel A., Müller K.M., Brüning T., Pesch B.
Major histopathological patterns of lung cancer related to arsenic exposure in German uranium miners
A comprehensive histopathological database and a detailed job-exposure matrix developed for former German uranium miners with exposure to arsenic, radon, and quartz were analyzed to quantitatively assess the effect of arsenic regarding cell type of lung cancer. An arsenic-related increase of the proportion of squamous cell carcinoma of the lung was observed, but was restricted to miners without silicosis. The increase was found at all levels of co-exposure to radon and quartz dust. In miners with silicosis, the proportion of adenocarcinoma increased with rising arsenic exposure. Other findings are discussed.
International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, July 2009, Vol.82, No.7, p.867-875. Illus. 45 ref.
Factors affecting occupational radon exposure
This report studied the main factors affecting indoor radon concentrations, namely construction of the building's foundation, the type of ventilation used and pressure differences between indoor and outdoor air. Construction on hillsides, the use of mechanical exhaust ventilation and location in radon-prone areas of Finland increase the indoor radon concentration. The pressure differences and ventilation rates did not affect the indoor radon concentration statistically significantly. In most of the buildings investigated, radon emitted from construction materials proved to be only a minor source of radon. The study demonstrated that the need for radon surveillance and mitigation is of utmost importance especially in workplaces in the radon-prone areas of Finland. Mitigation is even more important if the workers live in a similar or higher risk area in which their workplaces are located.
Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, FIOH-Bookstore, Topeliuksenkatu 41 a A, 00250 Helsinki, Finland, 2009. 95p. Illus. Bibl.ref. Price: EUR 22.95.
Vacquier B., Caer S., Rogel A., Feurprier M., Tirmarche M., Luccioni C., Quesne B., Acker A., Laurier D.
Mortality risk in the French cohort of uranium miners: Extended follow-up 1946-1999
This study examined the mortality of the French cohort of uranium miners through 1999, and association with radon exposure. The cohort consisted of 5086 men employed as uranium miners for at least one year between 1946 and 1990. For each miner, vital status and cause of death were obtained from the national registry, and radon exposure was reconstructed for each year. Standardized mortality ratios (SMRs) were computed with national mortality rates as references. The overall mortality did not differ significantly from the general male population. There was an excess risk of lung cancer death (SMR 1.43), which increased significantly with cumulative radon exposure. The excess risk of death from renal cancer (SMR 2.00) was however not associated with cumulative radon exposure. Other findings are discussed.
Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Sep. 2008, Vol.65, No.9, p.597-604. Illus. 42 ref.
Assessing the need for radiation protection measures in work involving minerals and raw materials
All mining or materials processing operations have the potential to increase the radiation dose received by the workers, due to the fact that all minerals and raw materials contain natural radionuclides. However, only in a limited number of cases does the situation warrant the introduction of radiation protection measures. This report provides information on the expected exposure levels encountered in various industrial activities, identifies the activities for which radiation protection regulatory controls are most likely to be needed and suggests the most appropriate regulatory approach.
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Wagramerstrasse 5, P.O. Box 100, 1400 Wien, Austria, 2006. 56p. Illus. 33 ref. Price: EUR 32.00.
http://www-pub.iaea.org/MTCD/publications/PDF/Pub1257_web.pdf [in English]
Eggermont G., de Saint-Georges L., Vanmarcke H.
The health effects of low-dose ionizing radiation - New epidemiological results and perspectives
This article examines the relative risk of low-level exposure to ionizing radiation. Contents: biological effects of ionizing radiation; regulation of low-dose risks and the social debate; recent epidemiological results; multi-factorial exposure and ethical concerns.
HESA Newsletter, Mar. 2006, No.29, p.21-25. 9 ref.
http://hesa.etui-rehs.org/fr/newsletter/files/pages22-27_News29-FR_def.pdf [in French]
http://hesa.etui-rehs.org/uk/newsletter/files/Pages21-25-News29UK2-7.pdf [in English]
Lung cancer risk and talc not containing asbestiform fibres: A review of epidemiological evidence
This literature survey involved all epidemiological cancer studies mentioning talc as a risk factor. No excess lung cancer mortality was found for talc millers exposed to high levels of talc but without any other potential carcinogen (standardized mortality ratio SMR=0.92, 42 cases) while the mortality of talc miners exposed to quartz and/or radon was in excess (fixed effect, SMR=1.20; random effect, relative risk RR=1.85, 40 cases). Six studies in other industrial settings were identified. All reported increased lung cancer mortality among talc exposed workers but the talc exposure was confounded with other carcinogens and only one study was able to adjust for them. In conclusion, no increased lung cancer mortality was observed among talc millers despite their high exposure experience. In populations in which talc was associated with other potential carcinogens, some lung cancer excesses were observed.
Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Jan. 2006, Vol.63, No.1, p.4-9. 36 ref.
Cancer and environment scientific conference
Journée scientifique cancers environnement [in French]
Short reviews of the papers presented at a conference on the role of environmental factors on the incidence of cancer held in Paris, France, on 10 October 2005. Topics addressed: general descriptive and methodological aspects; research on cancer risk due to environmental factors; understanding the exposures faced by the population and modelling of dose-risk relationships.
Cahiers de médecine interprofessionnelle, 2006, Vol.46, No.1, p.37-44.
Möhner M., Lindtner M., Otten H., Gille H.G.
Leukemia and exposure to ionizing radiation among German uranium miners
It is well known that uranium miners are at an increased risk of lung cancer. Whether they also have an increased risk for other cancer sites remains under discussion. The aim of this study was to examine the leukaemia risk among uranium miners. It involved 377 former uranium miners in East Germany and 980 matched controls. Using conditional logistic regression models, a dose-response relationship between leukaemia risk and exposure to radon progeny could not be confirmed. Yet, a significantly elevated risk is seen in workers with the highest exposure to the combined effect of γ-radiation and long-lived radionuclides. The results suggest that an elevated risk for leukaemia is restricted to employees with a very long occupational career in underground uranium mining or uranium processing. Moreover, the study does not support the hypothesis of an association between exposure to short-lived radon progeny and leukaemia risk.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine, Apr. 2006, Vol.49, No.4, p.238-248. Illus. 23 ref.
Gagnon F., Deshaies P., Lepage-Saucier M.
Work, environment and cancer
Travail, environnement et cancer [in French]
Approximately 4% of cancers worldwide are caused by occupational exposure to carcinogens. This proportion may be considerably higher in certain occupations. Aimed at medical practitioners, the objective of this article is to help them establish the possible occupational causes of cancer. Contents: occupational causes of cancers; frequency of occupational cancers; occupational risk factors of cancer; risk of cancer due to radon. The following data are presented in tabular form: frequency of the main risk factors of cancer mortality in France; sectors of activity, occupations and exposures related to known carcinogenic hazards.
Médecin du Québec, Oct. 2005, Vol. 40, No.10, p.81-89. 14 ref.
http://www.fmoq.org/Documents/MedecinDuQuebec/octobre-2005/081-089Deshaies1005.pdf [in French]
Pascual Benés A., Gadea Carrera E.
Ionizing radiation: Protection standards
Radiaciones ionizantes: normas de protección [in Spanish]
This information note focuses on protective measures against ionizing radiation in accordance with Spanish Royal Decree 783/2001 concerning radiation protection (see CIS 03-1525). Topics addressed: classification of ionizing radiation; values and measuring units; protective measures (dose limitation, information and training of workers, classification and visual identification of zones, monitoring of workplace atmospheres, evaluation and implementation of radiation protection measures, medical supervision, keeping records of workers' exposures); basic radiation protection measures; natural radiation; waste disposal. Replaces CIS 96-1036.
Instituto Nacional de Seguridad e Higiene en el Trabajo, Ediciones y Publicaciones, c/Torrelaguna 73, 28027 Madrid, Spain, 2004. 10p. Illus. 9 ref.
http://internet.mtas.es/Insht/ntp/ntp_614.htm [in Spanish]
Radiation protection against radon in workplaces other than mines
This report deals with radon (222Rn) and thoron (220Rn) and their decay products in workplaces other than mines. It is intended for use in the application of radiation protection principles in sectors where employers may not have an extensive background in radiation protection. It provides practical information on workplace radiation levels above which action is necessary, on monitoring techniques and on actions aimed at reducing exposures to radon and thoron and their decay products when necessary. It is also intended to assist regulatory bodies in establishing their own national policies in controlling high radon and thoron exposures of non-mining workforces.
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Wagramerstrasse 5, P.O. Box 100, 1400 Wien, Austria, 2003. 74p. Illus. 126 ref. Price of print edition: EUR 19.00. Downloadable version free of charge.
http://www-pub.iaea.org/MTCD/publications/PDF/Pub1168_web.pdf [in English]
Beck T., Brandmaier P., Ettenhuber E., Franke P., Gellermann R., Hentzschel R., Hermann E., Just G., Ludwig T., von Philipsborn H., Schraube H., Schwedt J., Weiß A., Weiß D.
Radiation exposure from natural sources: How much protection do we really need?
Strahlenexpositionen aus natürlichen Quellen: Eine neue Aufgabe für den Strahlenschutz? [in German]
The new provisions of Part 3 of the German Ordinance on protection against the effects of ionizing radiation (StrlSchV, see CIS 03-1042) limit for the first time exposures to natural sources of radiation. However, the scope of the ordinance is limited to occupational activities that could give rise to increases in radioactive contamination or to exposure to radiation. This collection of articles presents an overview of the requirements and the radioprotection measures applicable to the new areas concerned, with an emphasis on water treatment, radon-containing thermal springs and long-haul flights.
Strahlenschutz Praxis, 2002, Vol.8, No.4, p.3-45. Illus. Bibl.ref.
Schröder C., Friedrich K., Butz M., Koppisch D., Otten H.
Uranium mining in Germany: Incidence of occupational diseases 1946-1999
In former East Germany, uranium mining was performed on a large scale from 1946 to 1990. The poor working conditions during the post-war years until 1955 led to a high level of occupational diseases. The present study gives an overview of the occurrence of occupational diseases during the mining period as well as after uranium mining was stopped in 1990. The number of occupational diseases which occurred during the mining period was calculated from the files of the mining enterprise. Although exposure to uranium ceased after 1990, cases of occupational diseases continued to be recognized after that date. There are currently more than 35,000 known cases occupational diseases, and many more are expected. Approximately two-thirds are lung diseases, including 16,376 cases of silicosis or silico-tuberculosis and 7,695 cases of bronchial carcinoma. The increase in the numbers of recognized occupational diseases is discussed in light of changes in criteria for recognition, in working conditions and in the duration of the latency period.
International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, Apr. 2002, Vol.75, No.4, p.235-242. Illus. 26 ref.
International Conference on Occupational Radiation Protection: Protecting workers against exposure to ionizing radiation
Proceedings of the International Conference on Occupational Radiation Protection held in Geneva, Switzerland, 26-30 August 2002. More than 120 papers are included, grouped under the following themes: radiation risks in the workplace; regulatory infrastructure development; operational implementation of basic safety standards; monitoring of occupational radiation exposures; occupational radiation protection in medicine; occupational radiation protection in workplaces involving exposure to natural radiation; occupational radiation protection in industrial and research facilities; occupational radiation protection in nuclear facilities; probability of causation of occupational harm attributed to radiation exposure.
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Wagramerstrasse 5, P.O. Box 100, 1400 Wien, Austria, 2002. x, 600p. Illus. Bibl.ref.
Park R.M., Bailer A.J., Stayner L.T., Halperin W., Gilbert S.J.
An alternate characterization of hazard in occupational epidemiology: Years of life lost per years worked
This article describes an alternative approach to standardized mortality ratios (SMRs) for describing occupational hazards based on years of potential life lost and lifetime risk, providing a more intuitive view of occupational mortality risk. The approach was evaluated for fatal lung diseases and injuries in a cohort of uranium miners with historical records of exposure to radon. Among miners hired after 1950 whose all-cause SMR was 1.5, 28% experienced premature death from lung diseases or injury. On average, each miner lost 1.5 years of potential life due to lung cancer, or almost three months for each year employed in uranium mining. As a consequence of lung disease and injury risks combined, a year of mining was associated with 5.9 months loss of potential life. For each year actually working underground, miners lost more than eight months of potential life. Fatal-injury dominated the potential years of life lost up to about age 40.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine, July 2002, Vol.42, No.1, p.1-10. Illus. 28 ref.
Bartual Sánchez J., Berenguer Subils M.J.
Indoor air quality guidelines: chemical contaminants
Guías de calidad de aire interior: contaminantes químicos [in Spanish]
This information note covers the use of reference values for the evaluation of indoor air quality and presents lists of reference values for various contaminants of indoor air. Contents: general aspects concerning the use of reference values; considerations concerning the determination of reference values; hygiene evaluation criteria (TLVs); reference values and defined threshold limit values for outdoor air contaminants; reference values for indoor air contaminants determined by the WHO as a function of their effects on health; specific example of radon.
Instituto Nacional de Seguridad e Higiene en el Trabajo, Ediciones y Publicaciones, c/Torrelaguna 73, 28027 Madrid, Spain, 2001. 6p. 7 ref.
http://internet.mtas.es/Insht/ntp/ntp_607.htm [in Spanish]
How much protection against radon do we need?
It has been long established that exposure to radon contributed to lung cancer risk among miners in the past. However, based on recent epidemiological data that the author considers controversial, regulators currently favour linear extrapolation from the very high exposures encountered in mining to low residential radon exposures. Direct and indirect evidence are reviewed and it is argued that this approach may be misleading due to various perturbing factors, in particular the retrospective determination of smoking habits.
Central European Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 2001, Vol.7, No.3-4, p.168-177. Illus. 19 ref.
Bartual Sánchez J., Bereguer Subils M.J., Bernal Domínguez F., Freixa Blanxart A., Guardino Solá X., Hernández Calleja A., Martí Solé M.C., Rosell Farrás M.G.
Quality of indoor air
Calidad de aire interior [in Spanish]
Persons living in industrialized countries spend 60 to 80% of their time in enclosed areas. Consequently, the questions of quality of indoor air and associated health problems are becoming more and more important. This document presents the state of current knowledge in this area. Contents: general concepts (thermal comfort, air quality criteria, contamination sources); odours; chemical contaminants; radon; cigarette smoke and passive smoking; biological contaminants; ventilation of premises; example of analysis of an indoor air quality problem.
Instituto Nacional de Seguridad e Higiene en el Trabajo, c/Torrelaguna 73, 28027 Madrid, Spain, 2001. vi, 200p. Illus. 43 ref.
Health and Safety Executive
Radon in the workplace
Under the Ionising Radiations Regulations 1999 (IRR99, see CIS 00-617), employers are required to take preventive action whenever the level of radon at the work premises is above 400Bq/m3. This leaflet provides the addresses of organizations that can test radon levels and offer advice on appropriate remedial measures.
HSE Books, P.O. Box 1999, Sudbury, Suffolk CO10 2WA, United Kingdom, July 2001. 6p.
Caroyer J.M., Strauss P.
Cancer among Belgian coal miners
Pathologie cancéreuse chez les houilleurs belges [in French]
Coal miners are exposed to silica. However, the possibly carcinogenic effect of silica exposure is uncertain, the various studies on lung cancer risks published to date remaining inconclusive. The objective of this study was to determine the level of occurrence of neoplasms, in particular of the lungs, among Belgian coal miners compared to the overall population. The study involved examining the medical files of 1466 miners having received compensation for silicosis and for whom the cause of death and the state of health at the end of their lives was known. Although not statistically significant, the incidence of neoplasms was 32.6% in miners as opposed to 24.9% in the overall population. A statistically significant relationship was found for bronchial cancer and myeloma. However, the possibly confounding roles of other factors such as smoking and exposure to radon cannot be excluded.
Revue de médecine du travail, Jan.-Feb. 2000, Vol.XXVII, No.1, p.60-63. Illus. 41 ref.
Radon at the workplace
Radon am Arbeitsplatz [in German]
The Austrian Workers' Compensation Board (AUVA) conducts measurements of radon and radon daughters in enterprises. This paper presents the results of measurements carried out in the mining industry as well as in power stations and other enterprises. Among the 16 mining companies where measurements were performed, half had doses higher than the current threshold limit value (0.3WL). In these enterprises the workplace ventilation needs to be improved.
Atemwegs- und Lungenkrankheiten, Dec. 2000, Vol.26, No.12, p.631-633.
Wiethege T., Wesch H., Müller K.M.
Radon - An irradiating subject: Data and facts by the pathologist
Radon - ein strahlendes Thema: Daten und Fakten des Pathologen [in German]
The aim of this study was assess the risk for the development of tumors induced by natural radiation sources such as radon. The preliminary results from a total of 17,466 autopsies performed on uranium miners of the former German Democratic Republic reveal that lung cancer mortality was significantly higher than in the normal population. Among miners who died between 1957 and 1965, a high rate of deaths due to small-cell carcinoma was observed. This rate dropped steadily between 1965 and 1990. Determinations of uranium, silica and arsenic in pulmonary tissue yielded high concentrations in some cases. The final results, including the assessment of the relationship between radon exposure and lung cancer mortality, are not yet available and will be published later.
Atemwegs- und Lungenkrankheiten, Dec. 2000, Vol.26, No.12, p.617-624. Illus. 20 ref.
Minesafe 1998 - Identifying key health issues for the next millennium: The role of occupational health professionals
This article reviews current occupational health issues in mining, including cancer risks, diesel engine emissions, the status of quartz as a carcinogen, the concept of dust overload of the lungs, radon in relation to cancer and pneumoconiosis, asthma from exposure to platinum, neurological diseases and metals, and two infectious hazards, tuberculosis and AIDS. The review also deals with new approaches to risk assessment and risk management, international standardization, the application of evidence-based science to occupational health, and the need to characterize work exposure information in a standard way to link with epidemiological studies in risk assessment and to provide better input for the establishment of threshold limit values. The review presents recommendations for further consideration by the mining community.
Journal of Occupational Health and Safety - Australia and New Zealand, Feb. 1999, Vol.15, No.1, p.25-35. 3 ref.
Vincent R., Kauppinen T., Toikkanen J., Pedersen D., Young R., Kogevinas M.
CAREX: International information system on occupational exposure to carcinogenic agents in Europe - Occupational exposure to carcinogenic agents in France from 1990 to 1993
CAREX: Système international d'information sur l'exposition professionnelle aux agents cancérogènes en Europe - Résultats des estimations pour la France pendant les années 1990-1993 [in French]
CAREX (Carcinogen Exposure), an international database of occupational exposure to carcinogens, provides access to specific data by country and industry. It includes data on 139 carcinogenic agents evaluated by the IARC. Occupational exposure to these carcinogenic agents was estimated for each of the 15 Member States of the European Union. In France, approximately 5 million workers were potentially exposed to the IARC carcinogens covered by CAREX. The most common exposures were solar radiation (15 million workers exposed at least 75% of working time), tobacco smoke in the workplace (12 million at least 75% of working time), radon (500,000), diesel exhaust (400,000), sulfuric acid mist (400,000), formaldehyde (300,000), wood dust (180,000), tetrachloroethylene (140,000), asbestos (140,000), and lead and inorganic lead compounds (140,000).
Cahiers de notes documentaires - Hygiène et sécurité du travail, 3rd Quarter 1999, No.176, p.49-58. Illus. 12 ref.
Pascual Benés A.
Radon and its health effects
El radón y sus efectos sobre la salud [in Spanish]
Radon is toxic because of its radioactivity. This substance emits gamma radiation which causes ionization reactions in human cells. This information note describes the effects caused by the inhalation of radon. Contents include: effects of ionizing radiation on health; direct and indirect modes of action of ionizing radiation on cells; radon doses to which the public is exposed; mode of action of radon; summary of toxicological and epidemiological studies.
Instituto Nacional de Seguridad e Higiene en el Trabajo, Ediciones y Publicaciones, c/Torrelaguna 73, 28027 Madrid, Spain, 1999. 3p. Illus. 4 ref.
Balonov M.I., Krisyuk E.M., Ramel C.
Environmental radioactivity, population exposure and related health risks in the east Baltic region
Radioactive contamination, population exposures and the risk of damage to human health are surveyed in the east Baltic region. Principal sources include global fallout, the Chernobyl accident, and marine transport of radionuclides. A mean annual exposure of 2-3mSv comes from environmental radioactivity. Main contributors are primarily radon and its decay products. The Chernobyl accident brought an additional dose of about 0.5mSv in southern Finland and 1.4mSv in the most contaminated districts of the Leningrad region, Russia. Both external and internal exposure via contaminated food contributed to this exposure. Radiation health risks are lung cancer among the general population from indoor exposure to radon, acute radiation syndrome from occupational exposure, thyroid cancer among children in heavily contaminated areas and mutations among offspring of exposed parents.
Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health, 1999, Vol.25, Suppl.3, p.17-32. Illus. 56 ref.
Otten H., Perlebach E., Schulz H., Piekarski. C.
Medical aid given to the former workers of the Wismut uranium mines
Die Betreuung der ehemaligen Arbeitnehmer im Uranerzbergbau Wismut [in German]
From 1 January 1991 the workers of the Wismut uranium mines of the former German Democratic Republic became the responsibility of the statutory insurance carriers of the Federal Republic of Germany. Since then, the records of the Wismut uranium mines have been screened for data on the working conditions, as well as for the names and addresses of the workers. Missing information on the exposures of workers before 1955 was obtained by reconstructing the exposure conditions from mining conditions and methods employed at that time. Exposure to radon and radon daughters, noise, vibration, asbestos, quartz dust, fumes from diesel engines and mine blasting was determined. Medical examinations were offered to and accepted by 80,000 workers. Of them 24,000 received a second medical examination. In approx. 1900 cases, new claims for receiving compensation for a diagnosed occupational disease have been filed.
Die BG, May 1999, No.5, p.285-290. Illus. 10 ref.
Langholz B., Thomas D., Xiang A., Stram D.
Latency analysis in epidemiologic studies of occupational exposures: Application to the Colorado Plateau uranium miners cohort
A general statistical framework for modelling latency effects is described. Bilinear and exponential decay latency models are proposed and methods are described for fitting these models to cohort or case-control data. A latency analysis of radon exposure and lung cancer in the Colorado Plateau uranium miners cohort was performed. Analysis of the entire cohort showed that the relative risk associated with exposure increased for about 8.5 years and thereafter decreased until it reached background levels after about 34 years. The hypothesis that the relative risk remains at its peak level is strongly rejected. The variation in the latency effects over subsets of the cohort based on attained age, level and rate of exposure, and smoking was investigated. Age was the only factor for which effect modification was demonstrated. The decline in effect was much steeper at older ages than younger ages. The proposed methods can provide much more information about the exposure-disease latency effects than those generally used. Topics: age-linked differences; radon; case-control study; cohort study; epidemiology; hazard evaluation; latency; long-term exposure; lung cancer; mathematical models; uranium mining.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine, Mar. 1999, Vol.35, No.3, p.246-256. Illus. 28 ref.
Lehmann F., Hambeck L., Linkert K. H., Lutze H., Meyer H., Reiber H., Reinisch A:, Renner H. J., Seifert T., Wolf F.
Exposure to ionizing radiation in the uranium mining industry in the former German Democratic Republic - Final research report
Belastung durch ionisierende Strahlung im Uranerzbergbau der ehemaligen DDR - Abschlussbericht zu einem Forschungsvorhaben [in German]
The approach to determining past radiation exposure of uranium miners of the former GDR is described and resulting radiation levels listed. For a total of 523 different activities in underground and opencast uranium mining and ore processing exposures to radon daughters, radionuclides with long half-lives and gamma radiation between 1946 to 1990, when the mines were shut down, were determined. Inhalation of radon daughters was found to be the dominant type of radiation exposure in underground mining while inhalation of radionuclides with long half-lives constituted the dominant radiation source in open cast mining. Exposure to gamma radiation was comparatively low although doses of more than 70mSv/year did occur in some instances. Summaries in English, French and Spanish. Topics: uranium; exposure evaluation; gamma radiation; Germany; ionizing radiation; opencast work; radon daughters; underground mining; uranium mining.
Hauptverband der gewerblichen Berufsgenossenschaften, Alte Heerstrasse 111, 53754 Sankt Augustin, Germany, Dec. 1998. 484p. Illus. 39 ref.
National Radiological Protection Board
Standards for intakes of radionuclides
Topics: absorbed dose; radon; ingestion; inhalation; list of radioactive substances; permissible radiation doses; radiation protection; radioactive substances; standard; United Kingdom.
Stationary Office Publications Centre, P.O. Box 276, London SW8 5DT, United Kingdom, 1998. 29p. 49 ref. Price: GBP 10.00.
Reference levels for naturally occurring radionuclides in the workplace
A methodology was developed to estimate doses to workers in industries in which enhanced levels of naturally occurring radionuclides are encountered. Results suggest that some degree of regulation may be required for many materials. A classification system is proposed which can be used to identify workplaces which require control. Topics: absorbed dose; radon; lead; thorium; uranium; radium; classification systems; conditions of exposure; exposure evaluation; ionizing radiation; permissible radiation doses; radiation protection; radioactive substances.
Radiological Protection Bulletin, Dec. 1998, No.208, p.11-15. 2 ref.
Influence of the work environment in a Pb-Zn mine on the incidence of cytogenetic damage in miners
In a study of cytogenetic damage in 120 miners occupationally exposed to radon and heavy metals in a lead-zinc mine, end points studied were structural chromosome aberrations, micronuclei and sister chromatid exchanges. Radon measurements were performed and the effective equivalent radiation doses over a 2-year period were calculated. The mean values of the percentage of structural chromosomal aberration frequency were 4.09% in miners, compared to 1.43% and 1.88% in two non-occupationally exposed control groups. The frequency of micronuclei and sister chromatid exchanges were also higher in the miners. Findings should be interpreted with regard to simultaneous exposure to radon and metals (lead, cadmium and zinc). Topics: analysis of chromosome aberrations; radon; lead; case-control study; chromosome changes; cytogenetic studies; determination in blood; exposure evaluation; genetic effects; lymphocytes; mining industry; smoking; workplace monitoring; zinc.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine, Nov. 1998, Vol.34, No.5, p.455-463. Illus. 21 ref.
Archer V.E., Renzetti A.D., Doggett R.S., Jarvis J.Q., Colby T.V.
Chronic diffuse interstitial fibrosis of the lung in uranium miners
Topics: radon; case study; chest radiography; literature survey; mortality; pulmonary fibrosis; uranium mining.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, May 1998, Vol.40, No.5, p.460-474. Illus. 107 ref.
Radiographic silicosis and lung cancer risk among workers in Ontario
It is concluded on the basis of two North American studies of silica exposed workers that radiographic silicosis is a marker for an increased risk of lung cancer. Topics: Canada; radon; case-control study; chest radiography; confounding factors; long-term exposure; lung cancer; Ontario; opacities; pneumoconiosis; silica; silicosis; smoking.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine, Sep. 1998, Vol.34, No.3, p.244-251. Illus. 19 ref.
Berenguer Subils M.J.
Radon in indoor air
Radón en ambientes interiores [in Spanish]
Topics: building materials; carcinogens; radon; data sheet; depressuring; determination in air; flooring; particulate radiation; premises and workplaces; Spain; ventilation.
Instituto Nacional de Seguridad e Higiene en el Trabajo, Ediciones y Publicaciones, c/Torrelaguna 73, 28027 Madrid, Spain, 1997. 6p. Illus. 10 ref.
Occupational risk of exposure to radon in underground coal mines
Riesgo ocupacional por exposición a radón en minas subterráneas de carbón [in Spanish]
Topics: radon; coal mining; Colombia; exposure evaluation; health hazards; medical supervision; mining industry; particulate radiation; particulate removing respirators; personal protective equipment; radon daughters; underground work.
Seguro Social, Protección Laboral, Administradora de Riesgos Profesionales, Santafé de Bogotá, Colombia, 1997. 66p. Illus. 29 ref.
Otten H., Schröder C., Willmann G.
Activities and research projects by the German Berufsgenossenschaften on the Wismut project - Current and expected findings
Berufsgenossenschaftliche Aktivitäten und Forschungsvorhaben zum Thema Wismut - Erkenntnisstand und Perspektiven [in German]
Abstract in English, French and Spanish. Topics: radon; conference; exposure; Germany; lung cancer; medical prevention; medical supervision; role of insurance institutions; silica; silicosis; uranium mining.
Hauptverband der gewerblichen Berufsgenossenschaften (HVBG), Alte Heerstrasse 111, 53754 Sankt Augustin, Germany, Dec. 1997. 228p. Illus. Bibl.ref.
An update of mortality from all causes among white uranium miners from the Colorado Plateau study group
Topics: radon; Colorado; diseases of blood-forming organs; dose-response relationship; emphysema; long-term study; lung cancer; mortality; pneumoconiosis; radon daughters; respiratory diseases; smoking; tuberculosis; uranium mining; USA.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine, Feb. 1997, Vol.31, No.2, p.211-222. 23 ref.
Hnizdo E., Murray J., Klempman S.
Lung cancer in relation to exposure to silica dust, silicosis and uranium production in South African gold miners
In a cohort of 2260 South African gold miners, 78 cases of lung cancer were found during the follow-up period from 1970 to 1986. The risk of lung cancer was associated with tobacco smoking, cumulative dust exposure, duration of underground mining and silicosis. No association was found with uranium production. The results cannot be interpreted definitively in terms of causal association. High levels of exposure to silica dust on its own are important in the pathogenesis of lung cancer and silicosis is either coincidental or represents an increased risk. The risk is also increased in miners spending many hours underground, in which case high levels of silica dust exposure may be a surrogate for exposure to radon daughters.
Thorax, Mar. 1997, Vol.52, p.271-275. 19 ref.
Msita K., Der-Petrossian B.
Building materials and health
Topics: building industry; building materials; radon; asbestos; lead; cadmium; chromium; silica; dangerous substances; developing countries; health hazards; implementation of control measures; industrial waste; limitation of exposure; metals; responsibilities; solvents; wood preservatives.
Journal of the Network of African Countries on Cost-effective Building Technologies, Dec. 1996, Vol.4, No.2, p.1-8. 9 ref.
Steenland K., et al.
Review of occupational lung carcinogens
The epidemiology of occupational lung cancer is reviewed, focusing on agents identified as pulmonary carcinogens by the International Agency for Research on Cancer: silica, asbestos, diesel engine exhaust, radon progeny, arsenic, acrylonitrile, chromium, beryllium, nickel and cadmium. Estimates of overall relative risks and numbers of exposed workers are derived. It is estimated that approximately 9,000-10,000 men and 900-1,900 women develop lung cancer annually in the USA following past exposure to occupational carcinogens; more than half of these cancers are due to asbestos. Current estimates reflect past high exposures and are likely to drop in the future, unless other occupational carcinogens are confirmed or new ones are introduced into the workplace.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine, May 1996, Vol.29, No.5, p.474-490. 169 ref.
Takkouche B., Gestal-Otero J.J.
The epidemiology of lung cancer: Review of risk factors and Spanish data
Risk factors of lung cancer with an emphasis on Spanish and European data are reviewed. In Spain, though lung cancer incidence rates are much lower than in Europe in general (especially for women), lung cancer mortality increased much more rapidly for men than for women between the 1950s and 1980s. This trend can be explained by tobacco consumption, which remains the major risk factor for lung cancer. Occupational radon and asbestos exposures are other factors, though not as important. Genetic factors could also play an aetiologic role.
European Journal of Epidemiology, Aug. 1996, Vol.12, p.341-349. Illus. 99 ref.
Fisher E.L., Fuortes L.J., Field R.W.
Occupational exposure of water-plant operators to high concentrations of radon-222 gas
Aeration of water in water treatment plants may lead to the release of dissolved radon-222 gas inside the plant. Measurement of average annual air concentrations of radon-222 in 31 water plants in Iowa, USA revealed that some plants exceeded the maximum permissible concentration established for underground mines. 4 plants were monitored continuously for 3 to 6 days, and weekly exposures for the plant operators were estimated. Because of the short exposure time, none of the exposures examined exceeded the OSHA standard of 4 working-level months. Recommendations include avoiding aeration of ground water inside new and existing plants, ventilation, and monitoring airborne concentrations of radon-222.
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Aug. 1996, Vol.38, No.8, p.759-764. 19 ref.
These 13 articles cover: the hazards of exposure to radon; radon policy around the world; geology of radon; domestic radon surveys; radon at work (measurement programmes, reduction of exposure, underground workplaces); local authority radon campaigns; remedial measures (radon sump, sealing, ventilation); passive etched track detectors; quantities and units; metrology; thoron in indoor air; radon in drinking water; and doses from radon to tissues other than lung.
Radiological Protection Bulletin, Sep. 1996, No.181, p.8-35. Bibl.ref.
Hardcastle G.D., Howarth C.B., Naismith S.P., Algar R.A., Miles J.C.H.
National Radiological Protection Board
NRPB etched-track detectors for area monitoring of radon
An etched-track system for the production and processing of a large number of radon detectors each year is described. The operation of the detector is outlined along with procedures for quality control, issue and receipt of detectors, chemical etching, track counting, blind testing, record keeping and processing of results. The detectors are used for the assessment of population exposure, for epidemiologic studies, and in workplaces and dwellings to determine levels of radon.
HMSO Publications Centre, P.O. Box 276, London SW8 5DT, United Kingdom, Apr. 1996. 9p. Illus. 12 ref. Price: GBP 5.00.
Indoor air quality: Research needs
Research needs in the field of indoor air quality are identified as: source characterization, exposure assessment, health effects, risk assessment, and solutions to prevent or mitigate pollution. Examples relating to radon exposure are cited to illustrate the factors to be considered in establishing indoor air quality policies.
Occupational Medicine: State of the Art Reviews, Jan.-Mar. 1995, Vol.10, No.1, p.217-227. 9 ref.
Michaylov M.A., Pressyanov D.S., Kalinov K.B.
Bronchial dysplasia induced by radiation in miners exposed to 222Rn progeny
This study investigated whether sputum cytology can be used to monitor epithelial cell changes in groups at high risk of lung cancer from exposure to radiation. To this end, 434 underground miners were examined of whom 334 were exposed to 222Rn progeny and 100 were not. The frequency of dysplasia in the exposed group was significantly higher than in the unexposed group and an exposure-response relation was found which was different for smokers and non-smokers. Possibly the frequencies of dysplasia could be used to assess past exposures of groups of miners. This approach could be applied to cases where data on radiation monitoring are not available or are very scarce.
Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Feb. 1995, Vol.52, No.2, p.82-85. Illus. 15 ref.
Silicosis, radon, and lung cancer risk in Ontario miners
Uranium miners are at an increased risk of developing lung cancer. This is generally attributable to exposure to radon. However, miners are also exposed to silica, classified by IARC as a possible human carcinogen. In a study of lung cancer risk in 328 miners with silicosis, which included a small number of uranium miners (23 subjects), it was found that the radon risk factor decreased when lung cancer risk was adjusted for the presence of silicosis. Smoking is also an important risk factor, but it was not feasible to include smoking in the statistical models. The results for the radon risk factors are, however, uncertain because of the small number of uranium miners included in the sample. Additional studies of this factor are considered warranted.
Health Physics, Sept. 1995, Vol.69, No.3, p.396-399. Illus. 12 ref.
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