Risk of lung cancer from radon exposure: Contribution of recently published studies of uranium miners

M. Tirmarche*, John Harrison, D. Laurier, E. Blanchardon, F. Paquet, James Marsh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


The International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) recently estimated the risk of lung cancer associated with radon exposure, and a statement was issued in ICRP Publication 115. This was based on recent epidemiological studies and the results from a joint analysis of cohorts of Czech, French, and German uranium miners, and indicated that the excess relative risk of lung cancer per unit of exposure should be expressed with consideration of chronic exposure over more than 10. years, by modelling time since median exposure, age attained or age at exposure, and taking in account, if possible, interaction between radon and tobacco.The lifetime excess absolute risk (LEAR) calculated from occupational exposure studies is close to 5×10-4 per working level month (WLM) (14×10-5 per hmJ/m3). LEAR values estimated using risk models derived from both miners and domestic exposure studies are in good agreement after accounting for factors such as sex, attained age, and exposure scenario. A sensitivity analysis highlighted the high dependence of background mortality rates on LEAR estimates. Using lung cancer rates among Euro-American males instead of the ICRP reference rates (males and females, and Euro-American and Asian populations), the estimated LEAR is close to 7×10-4 per WLM (20×10-5 per hm J/m3).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)368-377
Number of pages10
JournalAnnals of the ICRP
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2012

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Tirmarche, M., Laurier, D., Bochicchio, F., et al., 2009. Final scientific report of the Alpha Risk Project funded by the European Commission EC FP6 (ref. FI6R-CT-2005-516483), Brussels, Belgium: European Commission . Available from: http://www.irsn.fr .


  • Epidemiology
  • Excess absolute risk
  • ICRP
  • Lung cancer
  • Radon exposure


Dive into the research topics of 'Risk of lung cancer from radon exposure: Contribution of recently published studies of uranium miners'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this