Epidemiological studies on uranium miners are being carried out to quantify the risk of cancer based on organ dose calculations. Mathematical models have been applied to calculate the annual absorbed doses to regions of the lung, red bone marrow, liver, kidney and stomach for each individual miner arising from exposure to radon gas, radon progeny and long-lived radionuclides (LLR) present in the uranium ore dust and to external gamma radiation. The methodology and dosimetric models used to calculate these organ doses are described and the resulting doses for unit exposure to each source (radon gas, radon progeny and LLR) are presented. The results of dosimetric calculations for a typical German miner are also given. For this miner, the absorbed dose to the central regions of the lung is dominated by the dose arising from exposure to radon progeny, whereas the absorbed dose to the red bone marrow is dominated by the external gamma dose. The uncertainties in the absorbed dose to regions of the lung arising from unit exposure to radon progeny are also discussed. These dose estimates are being used in epidemiological studies of cancer in uranium miners. Published by Oxford University Press.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was partially supported by the European Union contract Alpha-Risk (FP6–516483).