Updated analyses of mortality data on workers at the Hanford Site, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), and Rocky Flats Weapons Plant are presented with the objective of providing a direct assessment of health risks resulting from protracted low-dose exposure to ionizing radiation. For leukemia, the combined excess relative risk estimate was negative (-1.0 per Sv), and confidence limits excluded risks that were more than slightly larger than those forming the basis of ICRP recommendations. For all cancer except leukemia, the excess relative risk estimate was 0.0 per Sv, but confidence limits indicated consistency with estimates several times those forming the basis of ICRP recommendations. Of 24 cancer types tested, 12 showed positive correlations with radiation dose and 12 showed negative correlations, as would be expected by chance fluctuation. Cancer of the esophagus, cancer of the larynx, and Hodgkin's disease showed statistically significant correlations with radiation dose (P < 0.05), but these correlations were interpreted as likely to have resulted from bias or chance fluctuation. Evidence of an increase in the excess relative risk with increasing age at risk was found for all cancer in both Hanford and ORNL, and both populations showed significant correlations of all cancer with radiation dose among those 75 years and older. Although this age effect may have resulted from bias in the data, its presence suggests that risk estimates based on nuclear worker data be interpreted cautiously.

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