This Mayak worker-based study focuses on evaluating possible associations between malignant liver cancers and chronic alpha irradiation, chronic gamma irradiation, and non-radiation risk factors (alcohol consumption, smoking, viral hepatitis, chemical exposure, and chronic digestive diseases). This is the first multivariate study related to liver cancer among Mayak workers. The study was performed using the nested, case-control approach and includes 44 cases of malignant liver tumors diagnosed from 1972 to 1999, and 111 matched controls. Adjusted odds ratio (OR(ad)) was evaluated relative to a group of workers with alpha radiation doses to liver (D(alpha)) 2.0 Gy (corresponding (239)Pu body burden estimates >20.4 kBq) were significantly associated (p 2.0-5.0 Gy and was 62.5 (7.4, 500) for a group with D(alpha) > 5.0-16.9 Gy. The attributable risk (AR) was calculated as 82%. For HCC, O(Rad) was estimated as 8.4 (0.8, 85.3; p 2.0-9.3 Gy. For the indicated group, the AR was 14%. An association with high external gamma-ray doses (D(gamma)) to the total body was revealed for both HCC and for combined liver cancers when dose was treated as a continuous variable. However, we find no evidence that chronic low doses of gamma rays are associated with liver cancer occurrence. Cholangiocarcinoma (CHC) was not associated with either alpha- or gamma-ray exposure. As expected, an association between alcohol abuse and HCC was inferred [O(Rad) = 3.3 (1.2, 9); AR = 41%] but not for CHC or HAS.
For radiation-related cancer risk evaluation, it is important to assess not only influences of individual risk factors but also their interactive effects (e.g., additive, multiplicative, etc.). Multivariate analysis methods adapted for interactive effects allow such assessments. We have used a multivariate analysis approach to investigate the pair-wise interactions of the previously identified three main etiological factors for lung cancer induction in Russian workers of the Mayak Production Association (PA) nuclear enterprise. These three factors are as follows: (1) body burden of inhaled plutonium-239 (239Pu), an influence on absorbed alpha-radiation dose; (2) cumulative, absorbed external gamma-radiation dose to the lung; and (3) level of cigarette smoking as indicated by a smoking index (SI). The SI represents the cigarettes smoked per day times years smoking. The Mayak PA workers were exposed by inhalation to both soluble and insoluble forms of 239Pu. Based on a cohort of 4,390 persons (77% male), we conducted a nested, case-control study of lung cancer induction using 486 matched cases and controls. Each case was matched to two controls. Matching was based on five factors: sex, year of birth, year work began, profession, and workplace. Three levels of smoking were considered: low (SI = 1 to 499), used as a reference level; middle (SI = 500 to 900); and high (SI = 901 to 2,000). For lung cancer induction, a supra-multiplicative effect was demonstrated for high external gamma-ray doses (> 2.0 Gy) plus high 239Pu intakes (body burden >2.3 kBq). This observation is consistent with the hypothesis of curvilinear dose-response relationships for lung cancer induction by high- and low-LET radiations. The interaction between radiation (external gamma rays or 239Pu body burden) and cigarette smoke was found to depend on the smoking level. For the middle level of smoking in combination with gamma radiation (> 2.0 Gy) or 239Pu body burden (> 2.3 kBq), results were consistent with additive effects. However, for the high level of smoking in combination with gamma radiation (> 2.0 Gy) or 239Pu body burden (> 2.3 kBq), results were consistent with the occurrence of multiplicative effects. These results indicate that low-dose risk estimates for radiation-induced lung cancer derived without adjusting for the influence of cigarette smoking could be greatly overestimated. Further, such systematic error may considerably distort the shape of the risk vs. dose curve and could possibly obscure the presence of a dose threshold for radiation-induced lung cancer.
An analysis of lung cancer mortality in a cohort of 1,669 Mayak workers who started their employment in the plutonium and reprocessing plants between 1948 and 1958 has been carried out in terms of a relative risk model. Particular emphasis has been given to a discrimination of the effects of external gamma-ray exposure and internal alpha-particle exposure due to incorporated plutonium. This study has also used the information from a cohort of 2,172 Mayak reactor workers who were exposed only to external gamma rays. The baseline lung cancer mortality rate has not been taken from national statistics but has been derived from the cohort itself. For both alpha particles and gamma rays, the results of the analysis are consistent with linear dose dependences. The estimated excess relative risk per unit organ dose equivalent in the lung due to the plutonium alpha particles at age 60 equals, according to the present study, 0.6/Sv, with a radiation weighting factor of 20 for alpha particles. The 95% confidence range is 0.39/Sv to 1.0/Sv. For the gamma-ray component, the present analysis suggests an excess relative risk for lung cancer mortality at age 60 of 0.20/Sv, with, however, a large 95% confidence range of-0.04/Sv to 0.69/Sv.
A new analysis of lung cancer mortality in a cohort of male Mayak workers who started their employment in the plutonium and reprocessing plants between 1948 and 1958 has been carried out in terms of a relative risk model. The follow-up has been extended until 1999, moreover a new dosimetry system (DOSES2000) has been established. Particular emphasis has been given to a discrimination of the effects of external gamma-exposure and internal alpha-exposure due to incorporated plutonium. This study has also utilized and incorporated the information from a cohort of Mayak reactor workers, who were exposed only externally to gamma-rays. The influence of smoking as the main confounding factor for lung cancer has been studied. The baseline lung cancer mortality rate was not taken from national statistics but was derived from the cohort itself. The estimated excess relative risk for the plutonium alpha-rays was 0.23/Sv (95%CI: 0.16-0.31). The resulting risk coefficient for external gamma-ray exposure was very low with a statistically insignificant estimate of 0.058/Sv (95%CI: -0.072-0.20). The inferred relative risk for smokers was 16.5 (95%CI: 12.6-20.5).
The ratio of plutonium content in 35 pairs of daily fecal and urine samples from 19 former MAYAK workers several decades after the end of occupational exposure was measured in clinical conditions. No dependence of the ratio Pu(feces)/Pu(urine) on plutonium aerosol transportability, sex, and age of workers was revealed in the late times after the end of occupational exposure. It was found that at the late times after the end of occupational exposure, the ratio of feces/urine is characterized by the lognormal distribution with the median value, 0.57, and error for this index characterized geometric deviation, sigmag = 1.12 Urinary and fecal excretions were analyzed after chronic exposure to inhaled plutonium compounds of different transportability for another group of 345 workers. During 500-16,000 d after the started chronic inhalation, plutonium biokinetic model ("Doses-2000") used in Southern Ural Biophysics Institute (SUBI) and based on the ICRP Publication 66 overestimated the feces/urine ratio by an order of magnitude as compared with the observed values. It indicates a necessity for further improvement of the biokinetic model used in SUBI.
A method is presented to determine the uncertainties in the reported dose due to incorporated plutonium for the Mayak Worker Cohort. The methodology includes errors generated by both detection methods and modeling methods. To accomplish the task, the method includes classical statistics, Monte Carlo, perturbation, and reliability groupings. Uncertainties are reported in percent of reported dose as a function of total body burden. The cohort was initially sorted into six reliability groups, with "A" being the data set that the investigators are most confident is correct and "G" being the data set with the most ambiguous data. Categories were adjusted based on preliminary calculation of uncertainties using the sorting criteria. Specifically, the impact of transportability (the parameter used to describe the transport of plutonium from the lung to systemic organs) was underestimated, and the structure of the sort was reorganized to reflect the impact of transportability. The finalized categories are designated with Roman numerals I through V, with "I" being the most reliable. Excluding Category V (neither bioassay nor autopsy), the highest uncertainty in lung doses is for individuals from Category IV-which ranged from 90-375% for total body burdens greater than 10 Bq, along with work histories that indicated exposure to more than one transportability class. The smallest estimated uncertainties for lung doses were determined by autopsy. Category I has a 32-38% uncertainty in the lung dose for total body burdens greater than 1 Bq. First, these results provide a further definition and characterization of the cohort and, second, they provide uncertainty estimates for these plutonium exposure categories.