Cancer incidence among Finnish nuclear reactor workers

J Occup Environ Med. 2002 Jul;44(7):634-8. doi: 10.1097/00043764-200207000-00008.


Because of their well-documented exposures to repeated low doses of ionizing radiation, nuclear reactor workers offer an opportunity to assess cancer risk from low-dose radiation. A cohort of all 15,619 Finnish nuclear reactor workers was established through dose-monitoring records. A questionnaire survey revealed no substantial differences in consumption of tobacco or alcohol between different exposure groups nor between nuclear power company employees and contract workers. In the follow-up for cancer incidence, no clear excess in cancer incidence was observed overall, nor was any observed in any of the specific cancer types studied. There was little evidence for an association between cancer incidence and cumulative radiation dose, but the statistical power was limited. More precise estimates will be available from an international collaborative study of nuclear industry workers, including our cohort.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cohort Studies
  • Confounding Factors, Epidemiologic
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Radiation
  • Female
  • Finland / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Life Style
  • Male
  • Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Neoplasms / etiology
  • Nuclear Reactors*
  • Occupational Exposure / adverse effects*
  • Registries
  • Risk Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires