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Advantages of Applying a Multifactoral Approach to Estimating the Contribution of Indoor Radon to Lung Cancer Risk

Issue: Vol.4, No.2 - April 2005

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Article Type: Manuscript

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  1. Dr Vladimir Lezhnin
    Ural Scientific Practical Center for Medical, Social and Economics, Problems (SPC \"Uralmedosteconomproblem\"),
  2. Dr Eugene Polzik
    Ural Scientific Practical Center for Medical, Social and Economics, Problems (SPC \"Uralmedosteconomproblem\"),
  3. Dr Vladimir Kazantsev
    Ural Scientific Practical Center for Medical, Social and Economics, Problems (SPC \"Uralmedosteconomproblem\"),

Epidemiologic studies based on multifactoral analytical methods have been implemented in two cities of the Sverdlovsk Region to establish the relationship between indoor exposure to radon and thoron and the risk of lung cancer posed to their population. Both cities, Pervouralsk and Karpinsk, are situated in high radon background ares with a radiation exposure dose of 5to 12 R/hr, and are characterized by high
cancer incidence rates of 323.1 and 364.6 cases per 100,000 of population, respectively. Volumetric activity concentrations of indoor radon in Pervouralsk and Karpinsk averaged 23Bq/m3 and 75Bqm3 (while 395 Bq/m3 and 739 Bqm3 were Registered in some dwellings), whereas equivalent concentrations of thoron were 0.6Bq m3 and 2.5Bqm3 (with maximum values of 5Bqm3 and 13Bqm), respectively.

The multifactoral analysis of 22 risk factors of lung cancer based on mathematical methods of pattern recognition showed that the contribution of radon and thoron in the disease was insignificant and equaled 0.5% and 0.6%, respectively. When in the same data were fed in the BEIR VI model, the estimated contribution was in the range of 11 to 16% in Pervouralsk and 35 to 52% in Karpinsk. Arguments for a better reliability and adequacy of multifactoral analytical methods of estimating radiation risk against the traditional monofactoral approach are provided in the discussion of results.

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