Mortality among pyrite miners with low-level exposure to radon daughters

Scand J Work Environ Health. 1988 Oct;14(5):280-5. doi: 10.5271/sjweh.1919.


Mortality among pyrite miners with low-level exposure to radon daughters. Scand J Work Environ Health 14 (1988) 280-285. A cohort mortality study was conducted with regard to a pyrite mine located in central Italy. Exposure to radon ranged from 0.12 to 0.36 working levels (WL) in the work areas; most measurements were around 0.2 WL. The concentration of free silica in the dust was less than 2%. The cohort was determined from company files and included 1,899 subjects. Mortality was studied for the years 1965-1983. The loss to follow-up was less than 2%. The standardized mortality ratio for all causes and all neoplasms was 97 and 107, respectively. That for lung cancer and for nonmalignant respiratory diseases was 131 (95% confidence interval 97-175) and 173 (95% confidence interval 135-231), respectively. It was estimated that the extra cases of lung cancer attributable to radon daughters numbered 13 per 10(6) person-years and working level month in the whole cohort and 21.3 per 10(6) person-years in the subcohort with 10-25 years of exposure.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Humans
  • Iron*
  • Middle Aged
  • Mining*
  • Neoplasms / etiology
  • Neoplasms / mortality
  • Occupational Diseases / etiology
  • Occupational Diseases / mortality*
  • Radon / adverse effects*
  • Sulfides*


  • Sulfides
  • pyrite
  • Iron
  • Radon