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February 2, 2009

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Radiation risks- Study reveals ‘healthy worker effect’

This is according to a study published by the Health Protection Agency in the British Journal of Cancer last month (www.bjcancer.com). This “healthy worker effect” has been observed in studies of many other occupational groups and is likely to reflect factors linked to recruitment and retention of the workers involved.

The National Registry for Radiation Workers (NRRW) analysis found that overall mortality was 80 per cent of that expected for the general population of England and Wales. The study, which began in 1976, provides the most precise estimates to date of mortality and cancer risks following occupational radiation exposure, and strengthens the scientific evidence for raised risks from these exposures. Continued follow-up of the workers studied will help determine whether radiation-associated risks vary over time, or by age.

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