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Indo-US nuclear deal: A challenge for occupational health

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      Results of case-control study of leukaemia and lymphoma among young people near Sellafield nuclear plant in West Cumbria.

      To examine whether the observed excess of childhood leukaemia and lymphoma near the Sellafield nuclear plant is associated with established risk factors or with factors related to the plant. A case-control study. West Cumbria health district. 52 Cases of leukaemia, 22 of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, and 23 of Hodgkin's disease occurring in people born in the area and diagnosed there in 1950-85 under the age of 25 and 1001 controls matched for sex and date of birth taken from the same birth registers as the cases. Antenatal abdominal x ray examinations, viral infections, habit factors, proximity to and employment characteristics of parents at Sellafield. Expected associations with prenatal exposure to x rays were found, but little information was available on viral illnesses. Relative risks for leukaemia and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma were higher in children born near Sellafield and in children of fathers employed at the plant, particularly those with high radiation dose recordings before their child's conception. For example, the relative risks compared with area controls were 0.17 (95% confidence interval 0.05 to 0.53) for being born further than 5 km from Sellafield 2.44 (1.04 to 5.71) for children of fathers employed at Sellafield at their conception, and 6.42 (1.57 to 26.3) for children of fathers receiving a total preconceptual ionising radiation dose of 100 mSv or more. Other factors, including exposure to x rays, maternal age, employment elsewhere, eating seafood, and playing on the beach did not explain these relationships. Focusing on Seascale, where the excess incidence has predominantly been reported, showed for the four out of five cases of leukaemia and one case of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma whose fathers were employed at Sellafield and for whom dose information was obtained that the fathers of each case had higher radiation doses before their child's conception than all their matched control fathers; the father of the other Seascale case (non-Hodgkin's lymphoma) was not employed at the plant. These results seem to explain statistically the geographical association. For Hodgkin's disease neither geographical nor employment associations with Sellafield were found. The raised incidence of leukaemia, particularly, and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma among children near Sellafield was associated with paternal employment and recorded external dose of whole body penetrating radiation during work at the plant before conception. The association can explain statistically the observed geographical excess. This result suggests an effect of ionising radiation on fathers that may be leukaemogenic in their offspring, though other, less likely, explanations are possible. There are important potential implications for radiobiology and for protection of radiation workers and their children.
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        Long-term follow-up of the residents of the Three Mile Island accident area: 1979-1998.

        The Three Mile Island (TMI) nuclear power plant accident (1979) prompted the Pennsylvania Department of Health to initiate a cohort mortality study in the TMI accident area. This study is significant because of the long follow-up (1979-1998), large cohort size (32,135), and evidence from earlier reports indicating increased cancer risks. Standardized mortality ratios (SMRs) were calculated to assess the mortality experience of the cohort compared with a local population. Relative risk (RR) regression modeling was performed to assess cause-specific mortality associated with radiation-related exposure variables after adjustment for individual smoking and lifestyle factors. Overall cancer mortality in this cohort was similar to the local population [SMRs = 103.7 (male); 99.8 (female)]. RR modeling showed neither maximum gamma nor likely gamma exposure was a significant predictor of all malignant neoplasms; bronchus, trachea, and lung; or heart disease mortality after adjusting for known confounders. The RR estimates for maximum gamma exposure (less than or equal to 8, 8-19, 20-34, greater than or equal to 35 mrem) in relation to all lymphatic and hematopoietic tissue (LHT) are significantly elevated (RRs = 1.00, 1.16, 2.54, 2.45, respectively) for males and are suggestive of a potential dose-response relationship, although the test for trend was not significant. An upward trend of RRs and SMRs for levels of maximum gamma exposure in relation to breast cancer in females (RRs = 1.00, 1.08, 1.13, 1.31; SMRs = 104.2, 113.2, 117.9) was also noted. Although the surveillance within the TMI cohort provides no consistent evidence that radioactivity released during the nuclear accident has had a significant impact on the overall mortality experience of these residents, several elevations persist, and certain potential dose-response relationships cannot be definitively excluded.
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          An overview of occupational health research in India

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            Author and article information

            Affiliations
            Department of Community Medicine, Pad Dr. D Y Patil Medical College, Pune - 411 018, India
            Author notes
            For correspondence: Dr. Amitav Banerjee, Department of Community Medicine, Pad Dr. D Y Patil Medical College, Pune - 411 018, India. E-mail: amitavb@ 123456gmail.com
            Journal
            Indian J Occup Environ Med
            IJOEM
            Indian Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine
            Medknow Publications (India )
            0973-2284
            1998-3670
            May-Aug 2007
            : 11
            : 2
            : 47-49
            3168095
            21938214
            IJOEM-11-47
            10.4103/0019-5278.34527
            © Indian Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine

            This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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            Occupational & Environmental medicine

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