Solid cancer incidence among the Chernobyl emergency workers residing in Russia: estimation of radiation risks

Radiat Environ Biophys. 2004 May;43(1):35-42. doi: 10.1007/s00411-003-0223-6. Epub 2004 Feb 5.


An analysis is presented of solid cancer incidence during 11 years of follow-up (1991-2001) of Chernobyl emergency workers residing in Russia. The analysis is based on data from the cohort of male emergency workers from 6 regions in Russia including 55718 persons with documented external radiation doses in the range of 0.001-0.3 Gy who worked within the 30 -km zone in 1986-1987. The mean age at exposure for these persons was 34.8 years and the mean external radiation dose 0.13 Gy. In the cohort 1370 cases of solid cancer were diagnosed and 3 follow-up periods were considered: 1991-1995, 1996-2001 and 1991-2001. The second follow-up period was chosen to allow for a minimum latency period of 10 years being characteristic of solid cancers. For risk assessment two control groups have been introduced, the first 'external' one representing incidence rates for corresponding ages in Russia in general, the second 'internal' one consisting of emergency workers. The risk estimates were based on spontaneous incidence rates of solid cancer. The estimated standardized incidence ratio (SIR) is in good agreement (95% CI) with that of the control. The values of excess relative risk per unit dose (ERR/Gy) for solid malignant neoplasms have been estimated to be 0.33 (95% CI: -0.39, 1.22) (internal control) for the follow-up period 1991-2001 and 0.19 (95% CI: -0.66, 1.27) for 1996-2001.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Chernobyl Nuclear Accident
  • Cohort Studies
  • Emergency Medical Services*
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms, Radiation-Induced / epidemiology*
  • Occupational Exposure*
  • Power Plants
  • Radiation Dosage
  • Radioactive Hazard Release
  • Radiometry / statistics & numerical data
  • Risk
  • Russia / epidemiology
  • Ukraine
  • Workforce