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The 15-country collaborative study of cancer risk among radiation workers in the nuclear industry: Study of errors in dosimetry

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Mark PearceORCiD


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To provide direct estimates of cancer risk after low-dose protracted exposure to ionizing radiation, a large-scale epidemiological study of nuclear industry workers was conducted in 15 countries. As part of this study, identification and quantification of errors in historical recorded doses was conducted based on a review of dosimetric practices and technologies in participating facilities. The main sources of errors on doses from "high-energy" photons (100-3000 keV) were identified as the response of dosimeters in workplace exposure conditions and historical calibration practices. Errors related to dosimetry technology and radiation fields were quantified to derive period- and facility-specific estimates of bias and uncertainties in recorded doses. This was based on (1) an evaluation of predominant workplace radiation from measurement studies and dosimetry expert assessment and (2) an estimation of the energy and geometry response of dosimeters used historically in study facilities. Coefficients were derived to convert recorded doses to HP(10) and organ dose, taking into account different aspects of the calibration procedures. A parametric, lognormal error structure model was developed to describe errors in doses as a function of facility and time period. Doses from other radiation types, particularly neutrons and radionuclide intake, could not be adequately reconstructed in the framework of the 15-Country Study. Workers with substantial doses from these radiation types were therefore identified and excluded from analyses. Doses from "lower-energy" photons (< 100 keV) and from "higher-energy" photons (> 3 MeV) were estimated to be small. (c) 2007 by Radiation Research Society.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Thierry-Chef I, Marshall M, Fix JJ, Bermann F, Gilbert ES, Hacker C, Heinmiller B, Murray W, Pearce MS, Utterback D, Bernar K, Deboodt P, Eklof M, Griciene B, Holan K, Hyvonen H, Kerekes A, Lee MC, Moser M, Pernicka F, Cardis E

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Radiation Research

Year: 2007

Volume: 167

Issue: 4

Pages: 380-395

ISSN (print): 0033-7587

ISSN (electronic): 1938-5404

Publisher: Radiation Research Society


DOI: 10.1667/RR0552.1


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Funder referenceFunder name
U50/CCU011778PHS HHS