IRSN, Institut de radioprotection et de sûreté nucléaire

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Enhancing Nuclear Safety



First analysis of the mortality of french nuclear workers in research and military facilities

Telle-Lamberton, M.; Bergot, D.; Douchin, M.N.; Delcroix, S.; Giraud, J.M.; Barbe, A.; Neron, M.O.; Baysson, H.; Hubert, P. Proceedings of the 10th international congress of the International Radiation Protection Association on harmonization of radiation, human life and the ecosystem Tokyo (Japan) Japan Health Physics Society May 2000 1 v. [9 p.] No. P-2a-52


A cohort study on French nuclear workers is underway in order to study the link between ionising radiations and cancer. As a preliminary step to this analytical study, an analysis of the mortality of workers from the Commissariat a l'Energie Atomique (CEA) has been performed. People employed for at least one year in CEA between 1945 and 1994 have been included. Vital status was obtained from birth townhalls and causes of death from the national mortality file, existing since 1968. Standardised Mortality Ratios (SMR) have been computed with reference to the national population for all causes, all cancers and specific causes of cancers for the period 1968-1994. 51 286 workers (39 906 men and 11 380 women) were included, 3 784 deaths occurred between 1968 and 1994. 95% of the causes of death were obtained. A healthy worker effect is observed for men (SMR=0.53 CI95%=[]) and for women (SMR=0.70 CI95%=[]). Almost all localisation of cancers present statistically significant deficits among men. Statistically significant excess is observed for male cancers of pleura (SMR=1.54, 21 cases, p<0.04). A borderline statistically significant excess of breast cancer is observed among women (SMR=1.18, 68 cases, p<0.09). A borderline statistically significant excess is observed for malignant melanoma of skin for both sexes (SMR=1.35, 23 cases, p<0.10). Results in excess are mostly consistent with findings from the other studies on nuclear workers (Cardis, 1995). Dose-effect relationships will be examined in a cohort study including quantitative assessment of external radiation exposures and qualitative assessment of exposure to internal radiation, chemicals and asbestos.


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