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Low-Dose Radiation Associated Mortality Risks of Site-Specific Solid Tumors in U.S. Shipyard Workers.

BACKGROUND: U.S. nuclear capable shipyard workers have increased potential for occupational radiation exposure.

OBJECTIVE: to examine solid tumor mortality risks at low doses.

METHOD: 437,937 workers working from 1957 to 2004 at eight U.S. shipyards were studied.

RESULTS: Radiation workers with a median life-time dose at 0.82 mSv had a significantly lower solid tumor mortality risk [Relative risk (RR): 0.96, 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.94-0.98] than non-radiation workers. Among 153,930 radiation workers., the RRs of solid tumors increased with increasing dose categories without statistical significance. The dose category >0- < 25 mSv had significantly lower RR (0.95, 95% CI: 0.91-0.99) vs. 0 dose and the Excess Relative Risk was 0.05/100 mSv (95% CI: 0.01-0.08).

CONCLUSION: Solid tumor risk might increase with radiation dose, but not linearly at low doses. Actual mortality risk may be dependent on dose received.

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