Characteristics of the Cohort of Workers at the Mayak Nuclear Complex

Branch No. 1 of the State Research Center "Biophysics Institute", Ozyorsk, Chelyabinsk region, Russia.
Radiation Research (Impact Factor: 2.91). 11/1999; 152(4):352-63. DOI: 10.2307/3580220
Source: PubMed


At Branch No. 1 of the Russian State Research Center "Biophysics Institute", a registry has been created of workers at the "Mayak" Production Association, the first nuclear complex in Russia. This registry includes 18,830 persons hired at Mayak's nuclear reactors and radiochemical and plutonium production plant between 1948 and 1972. Twenty-five percent of these workers are women. As of December 31, 1994, the vital status is known for approximately 90% of the cohort members. A total of 5,118 persons have died. The cause for 97% of total deaths has been ascertained. The cohort members were exposed to both external gamma radiation and internal radiation from incorporated plutonium. The plutonium body burden has been measured in 30% of the cohort members with potential for plutonium exposure. External gamma-ray doses were in the range from tenths of milligrays to about 10 Gy, and plutonium body burdens were up to about 260 kBq. In view of the nature of the Mayak worker cohort, it has the potential to provide reasonably precise, quantitative estimates of the long-term health effects associated with chronic low-dose-rate exposure to external gamma radiation as well as internal radiation from plutonium. However, a number of issues must be addressed before credible risk estimates can be obtained from this cohort. These issues include the development of an appropriate internal comparison group and/or external rates and separating of the effects of internal and external exposures on risk estimates.

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    • "The cohort design, data collection and methods used to determine the vital status have been described in detail previously (Koshurnikova et al, 1999; Labutina et al, 2013). We summarise here some of the main aspects. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Cancer incidence in the Mayak Production Association (PA) cohort was analysed to investigate for the first time whether external gamma-ray and internal plutonium exposure are associated with raised incidence of solid cancers other than lung, liver and bone (other solid cancers). Methods: The cohort includes 22 366 workers of both sexes who were first employed between 1948 and 1982. A total of 1447 cases of other solid cancers were registered in the follow-up period until 2004. The Poisson regression was used to estimate the excess relative risk (ERR) per unit of cumulative exposure to plutonium and external gamma-ray. Results: A weak association was found between cumulative exposure to external gamma-ray and the incidence of other solid cancers (ERR/Gy=0.07; 95% confidence intervals (CIs): 0.01–0.15), but this association lost its significance after adjusting for internal plutonium exposure. There was no indication of any association with plutonium exposure for other solid cancers. Among 16 individual cancer sites, there was a statistically significant association with external exposure for lip cancer (ERR/Gy=1.74; 95% CI: 0.37; 6.71) and with plutonium exposure for pancreatic cancer (ERR/Gy=1.58; 95% CI; 0.17; 4.77). Conclusion: This study of Mayak workers does not provide evidence of an increased risk of other solid cancers. The observed increase in the risk of cancer of the lip and pancreas should be treated with caution because of the limited amount of relevant data and because the observations may be simply due to chance.
    British Journal of Cancer 09/2013; 109(7). DOI:10.1038/bjc.2013.543 · 4.84 Impact Factor
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    • "The information on vital status, date, and cause of death for migrants was provided by the Southern Urals Biophysics Institute (SUBI) Laboratory of Epidemiology from the constantly maintained Medical Dosimetry Registry of Mayak workers. The information retrieval and collection procedures were described elsewhere (Koshurnikova et al. 1999). "
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    ABSTRACT: Following an earlier study of incidence and mortality of ischemic heart disease (IHD) published in 2010, a second analysis has been conducted based on an extended cohort and five additional years of follow-up. The cohort includes 18,763 workers, of whom 25% were females, first employed at the Mayak PA in 1948-1972 and followed up to the end of 2005. Some of these workers were exposed to external gamma rays only, and others were exposed to a mixture of external gamma-rays and internal alpha-particle radiation. A total of 6,134 cases and 2,629 deaths from IHD were identified in the study cohort. A statistically significant increasing trend was found with total external gamma-ray dose in IHD incidence (ERR/Gy 0.099; 95% CI: 0.045-0.153) after adjusting for non-radiation factors. This value reduced slightly when adjusting for internal liver dose. There was no statistically significant increase trend for internal liver dose in IHD incidence. These findings were consistent with an earlier study. New findings in IHD incidence revealed a statistically significant decrease in IHD incidence among workers exposed to external gamma-rays doses of 0.2-0.5 Gy in relation to the external doses below 0.2 Gy. This decreased risk is heavily influenced by female workers. This finding has never been reported in other studies, and the results should be treated with caution. The findings for IHD mortality are similar to those results in the earlier analysis; there was no statistically significant trend with external gamma-ray dose or for internal liver dose after adjustment for external dose. The risk estimates obtained from these analyses of IHD incidence and mortality in relation to external gamma-rays in the cohort of Mayak workers are generally compatible with those from other large occupational radiation worker studies and the Japanese atomic bomb survivors.
    Health physics 07/2012; 103(1):3-14. DOI:10.1097/HP.0b013e3182243a62 · 1.27 Impact Factor
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    • "Of notice was that the later a worker has been employed at the Mayak PA, the lower risk of both CVD incidence and mortality was. The most unfavorable radiation environment was observed during the first 10 years of the Mayak PA operation, when workers were exposed to higher doses (Koshurnikova et al. 1999). "
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    ABSTRACT: Incidence and mortality from cerebrovascular diseases (CVD) (430-438 ICD-9 codes) have been studied in a cohort of 18,763 workers first employed at the Mayak Production Association (Mayak PA) in 1948-1972 and followed up to the end of 2005. Some of the workers were exposed to external gamma-rays only while others were exposed to a mixture of external gamma-rays and internal alpha-particle radiation due to incorporated (239)Pu. After adjusting for non-radiation factors, there were significantly increasing trends in CVD incidence with total absorbed dose from external gamma-rays and total absorbed dose to liver from internal alpha radiation. The CVD incidence was statistically significantly higher among workers with total absorbed external gamma-ray doses greater than 0.20 Gy compared to those exposed to lower doses; the data were consistent with a linear trend in risk with external dose. The CVD incidence was statistically significantly higher among workers with total absorbed internal alpha-radiation doses to liver from incorporated (239)Pu greater than 0.025 Gy compared to those exposed to lower doses. There was no statistically significant trend in CVD mortality risk with either external gamma-ray dose or internal alpha-radiation dose to liver. The risk estimates obtained are generally compatible with those from other large occupational studies, although the incidence data point to higher risk estimates compared to those from the Japanese A-bomb survivors. Further studies of the unique cohort of Mayak workers chronically exposed to external and internal radiation will allow improving the reliability and validating the radiation safety standards for occupational and public exposure.
    Biophysik 08/2011; 50(4):539-52. DOI:10.1007/s00411-011-0377-6 · 1.53 Impact Factor
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