Open Access
Issue
BIO Web Conf.
Volume 14, 2019
The 12th International Conference on the Health Effects of Incorporated Radionuclides (HEIR 2018)
Article Number 03009
Number of page(s) 2
Section Dosimetry and Dose Assessment: Oral presentations
DOI https://doi.org/10.1051/bioconf/20191403009
Published online 07 May 2019

1. Background

The German “Wismut” cohort is one of the largest cohort studies of uranium miners who have been occupationally exposed to radon [1]; the cohort includes 58,974 males accumulating over 2 million person years at risk (follow-up period 1946-2013). A job-exposure matrix (JEM, [2, 3]) was created for exposures to radon and its progeny, external gamma radiation and long-lived radionuclides. According to the availability of radiation measurements, different approaches of exposure assessment were developed. Individual radiation exposure in the Wismut cohort was calculated based on the JEM and individual job histories.

thumbnail Fig. 1

Main steps in exposure assessment for the Wismut cohort.

Tab. 1.

Preliminary evaluation of the potential sources of uncertainties in the exposure assessment for the Wismut cohort

The elaborated exposure assessment procedure provides well-grounded exposure estimates, but may involve potential uncertainties. Numerous risk analyses for lung cancer mortality (e.g. [4]) and other diseases have been performed depending on radiation exposure, but so far without adjustment for such uncertainties. This work is a first step towards accounting for uncertainties in radon exposure in risk analyses for lung cancer mortality in the Wismut cohort. Potential sources of uncertainty were identified and preliminarily evaluated.

2. Identification and preliminary evaluation of the sources of uncertainties in exposure assessment

The exposure assessment procedure for the Wismut cohort can be structured as shown in Figure 1, pointing out two main types of uncertainty.

The structure of uncertainties is complex because the multi-stage exposure assessment varies over time and depends on the working conditions and thus, involves different types and sizes of errors. Errors in the exposure assessment may arise from the generalization of single exposure measurements (generalization error), from the assignment of general exposure estimates to single miners (assignment error) and from estimation errors (procedural measurement error, documentation error, parameter uncertainties, experts’ evaluation error, transfer error, approximation error) in all stages of the exposure estimation process. The preliminary evaluation of the relevance of the uncertainties is shown in Table 1.

These findings contribute towards the specification of a measurement error model, which is necessary for the estimation of lung cancer risk depending on radon exposure taking measurement error into account.

References

  • M. Kreuzer, M. Schnelzer, A. Tschense, L. Walsh, B. Grosche B, Int. J. Epidemiol. 39 , 980–987 (2010) [CrossRef] [PubMed] [Google Scholar]
  • F. Lehmann, L. Hambeck, K.H. Linkert, H. Lutze, H. Meyer, H. Reiber, A. Reinisch. H.-J. Renner, T. Seifert, F. Wolf, Belastung durch ionisierende Strahlung im Uranerzbergbau der ehemaligen DDR: Abschlußbericht zu einem Forschungsvorhaben (1998) [Google Scholar]
  • F. Lehmann, Job-Exposure-Matrix “Ionisierende Strahlung im Uranerzbergbau der ehemaligen DDR.” Technical Report, Version 06/2004 (2004) [Google Scholar]
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© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2019

Licence Creative Commons
This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

All Tables

Tab. 1.

Preliminary evaluation of the potential sources of uncertainties in the exposure assessment for the Wismut cohort

All Figures

thumbnail Fig. 1

Main steps in exposure assessment for the Wismut cohort.

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