Int. J. of Low Radiation   »   2005 Vol.1, No.4



Title: Nuclear shipyard worker study (1980–1988): a large cohort exposed to low-dose-rate gamma radiation


Author: Ruth Sponsler, John R. Cameron


P.O. Box 553, Burnsville, NC 28714, USA.
(Deceased 2005) Departments of Medical Physics, Radiology and Physics, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA


Abstract: This paper is a summary of the 1991 Final Report of the Nuclear Shipyard Worker Study (NSWS), a very comprehensive study of occupational radiation exposure in the US. The NSWS compared three cohorts: a high-dose cohort of 27,872 nuclear workers, a low dose cohort of 10,348 workers, and a control cohort of 32,510 unexposed shipyard workers. The cohorts were matched by ages and job categories. Although the NSWS was designed to search for adverse effects of occupational low dose-rate gamma radiation, few risks were found. The high-dose workers demonstrated significantly lower circulatory, respiratory, and all-cause mortality than did unexposed workers. Mortality from all cancers combined was also lower in the exposed cohort. The NSWS results are compared to a study of British radiologists. We recommend extension of NSWS data from 1981 to 2001 to get a more complete picture of the health effects of 60Co radiation to the high-dose cohort compared to the controls.


Keywords: low dose rate gamma radiation; nuclear shipyard workers; cardiovascular disease; cancer; mortality rates; low radiation; radiation exposure; health effects.


DOI: 10.1504/IJLR.2005.007915


Int. J. of Low Radiation, 2005 Vol.1, No.4, pp.463 - 478


Available online: 30 Sep 2005



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