Respiratory disease mortality among uranium miners

Author Name: 
Archer, V. E., Gillam, J. D. and Wagoner, J. K.
Publication Date: 
Thursday, January 1, 1976
Private File Attachment: 
Previous studies of United States uranium miners have shown that their risk of respiratory cancer is related to the magnitude of exposure to radon daugh- t e r ~ . ~A- ~similar excess, however, was not clearly demonstrated among either non-cigaret-smoking white uranium miners or among non-white uranium miners (mostly American Indians).l Some publications reported a loss of pulmonary function among uranium miners: but little attention was paid to their mortality from pulmonary insufficiency. An update of the earlier mortality studies now has been made that provides data for filling in these three deficiencies. (from introduction) A significant excess of respiratory cancer among both whites and Indians was found. Nonmalignant respiratory disease deaths among the whites are approaching cancer in importance as a cause of death, probably as a result of diffuse parenchymal radiation damage. Exposure- response curves for nonsmokers are linear for both respiratory cancer and “other respiratory disease.” Cigaret smoking elevates and distorts that curve. Light cigaret smokers appear to be most vulnerable to lung parenchymal damage. The predominant histologic cancer among nonsmokers is small-cell undifferen- tiated, just as it is among cigaret smokers. (from summary)