Open Access
BIO Web Conf.
Volume 14, 2019
The 12th International Conference on the Health Effects of Incorporated Radionuclides (HEIR 2018)
Article Number 04015
Number of page(s) 1
Section Epidemiology: Poster presentation
Published online 15 May 2019

It is well established that high radon exposures increase the risk of lung cancer mortality. The effects of low occupational exposures and the factors that confound and modify this risk are not clear and are needed to inform current radiation protection of miners. The risk of lung cancer mortality at low radon exposures (< 100 working level months) was assessed in the joint cohort analysis of Czech, French and Canadian uranium miners, employed in 1953 or later.

Statistical analysis was based on linear Poisson regression modeling with grouped cohort survival data. Two sensitivity analyses were used to assess potential confounding from tobacco smoking.

A statistically significant linear relationship between radon exposures and lung cancer mortality was found. The excess relative risk per working level month was 0.022 (95% confidence interval: 0.013–0.034), based on 408 lung cancer deaths and 394,236 person-years. Miners who received radon exposures 5–14 years previously and miners aged < 55 years had the greatest risk of lung cancer mortality. These risks decreased with increasing time since exposure and attained age. No effect of exposure rate, separate from measures of cumulative exposure, was observed at low radon exposure levels. The potential confounding effect of tobacco smoking was estimated to be small and did not substantially change the radon-lung cancer mortality risk estimates.

This joint cohort analysis provides strong evidence for an increased risk of lung cancer mortality from low occupational radon exposures. The results suggest radiation protection measures continue to be important among current uranium miners.

© 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 (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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