Original article

Comparison of the Risk of Mortality from Solid Cancers after Radiation Incidents and Occupational Exposures

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Koterov A.N.1, Ushenkova L.N.1, Kalinina M.V.1, Biryukov A.P.1

1 State Research Center – Burnasyan Federal Medical Biophysical Center of Federal Medical Biological Agency, Moscow, Russian Federation

UDC [331.43 + 614.8-052 + 632.118.3]: 616-006

Pp. 34-41

Abstract. The purpose of the study was to compare the excess relative risk of mortality (ERR per 1 Sv) from solid cancers during acute — catastrophic or accidental and occupational, fractionated or chronic — exposure.

Study materials and methods. Materials of the study: maintained database (source database) on nuclear industry workers from about 40 countries, based on which a pooled analysis of data was conducted to determine the integral value of ERR per 1 Gy for mortality from solid cancers; indicators of cohorts exposed to catastrophic and accidental radiation: the cohort LSS victims of the atomic bombings in Japan; residents of the Techa River — radioactive contamination resulting from releases from “Mayak” production association; Russian liquidators of the Chernobyl nuclear accident.

Study results and analysis. Comparison of the ERR of 1 Sv deaths from solid cancers for workers in the global nuclear industry (pooling analysis of data from 37 studies) with those of the LSS cohort; Techa River residents and Chernobyl accident liquidators showed no logical and principled differences, with the risks for the latter two cohorts being the highest.

Although the findings partly support the approach of the UN Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation that the carcinogenic effects of acute (catastrophic or accidental) and occupational (fractionated or chronic) radiation exposure are independent of the dose rate factor (DDREF), this issue cannot be considered unequivocally resolved, given the biological mechanisms and radiobiological experimental data.

Based on the ERR per 1 Sv, the average external dose, and the annual background cancer mortality rates in Russia and the United States, the expected cancer mortality increase for 100,000 workers in the nuclear industry would be an average of 32-69 people over 10 years — 0.032-0.069% of the group. Such risks, due to multiple carcinogenic non-radiation factors of life and work, as well as fluctuating background values, cannot be taken into account in the practice of disaster medicine and public health.

Key words: atomic bomb victims, catastrophic exposure, Chernobyl accident liquidators, chronic exposure, emergency exposure, fractionated exposure, mortality risk, nuclear industry workers, solid cancers, Techa River residents

For citation: Koterov A.N., Ushenkova L.N., Kalinina M.V., Biryukov A.P.

Comparison of the Risk of Mortality from Solid Cancers after Radiation Incidents and Occupational Exposures. Meditsina katastrof = Disaster Medicine. 2021;3:34-41 (In Russ.). https://doi.org/10.33266/2070-1004-2021-3-34-41



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The material was received 18.03.21; the article after peer review procedure 01.06.21; the Editorial Board accepted the article for publication 10.09.21