We examined the relationship between radiation and excess deaths from mesothelioma among deceased nuclear workers who were part of the US Transuranium and Uranium Registries.Methods
We performed univariate analysis with SAS Version 9.1 software. We conducted proportionate mortality ratio (PMR) and proportionate cancer mortality ratio (PCMR) analyses using the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Life Table Analysis System with the referent group being all deaths in the United States.Results
We found a PMR of 62.40 (P < .05) and a PCMR of 46.92 (P < .05) for mesothelioma. PMRs for the 4 cumulative external radiation dose quartiles were 61.83, 57.43, 74.46, and 83.31. PCMRs were 36.16, 47.07, 51.35, and 67.73. The PMR and PCMR for trachea, bronchus, and lung cancer were not significantly elevated.Conclusions
The relationship between cumulative external radiation dose and the PMR and PCMR for mesothelioma suggests that external radiation at nuclear facilities is associated with an increased risk of mesothelioma. The lack of a significantly elevated PMR and PCMR for trachea, bronchus, and lung cancer suggests that asbestos did not confound this relationship.