Radiation and Environmental Biophysics

, Volume 48, Issue 1, pp 1–9 | Cite as

Radon-associated lung cancer risk among French uranium miners: modifying factors of the exposure–risk relationship

  • Blandine Vacquier
  • Agnès Rogel
  • Klervi Leuraud
  • Sylvaine Caer
  • Alain Acker
  • Dominique LaurierEmail author
Original Paper


Radon is classified as a known pulmonary carcinogen in humans. A better understanding of the effects of low exposure and time-dependent factors, modifying the lung cancer risk is of continued interest. We present analyses of the exposure–risk relationship in the French cohort of uranium miners updated until 1999 and including five additional years of follow-up. These new analyses provide a better opportunity to look at low radon exposures with longer follow-up intervals, and allow consideration of new modifying factors, such as physical activity, mine location and job type. The cohort includes 5,086 miners, and 159 lung cancer deaths have been observed among these over a follow-up of more than 30 years. The exposure–risk relationship was estimated using excess relative risk models, which allow investigation of several modifying factors such as period of exposure, time since exposure, age at exposure, duration of exposure, exposure rate, job type, mine type and physical activity. The analysis confirms the association between radon exposure and lung cancer risk (ERR per 100 WLM = 0.58, P < 0.01). Period of exposure and physical activity appear as major modifying factors. Higher risks are observed for hard physical activity works. The effect of hard physical activity persists when the period of exposure is taken into account (ERR per 100 WLM = 2.95, P < 0.01).


Radon Lung Cancer Risk Exposure Rate Mine Type Excess Relative Risk 
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This work was partly supported by AREVA-NC, in the framework of a bilateral IRSN-AREVA-NC agreement, and by the European Commission in the framework of the 6th Framework Program for Research and Technological Development (“Alpha-Risk project”, contract: FI6R 516483). The authors are grateful to: G. Lauret, J.C. Hyvernaud, C. Martinet from AREVA NC, S. Bernhard from Algade and J.C. Filloux from Association Interprofessionnelle pour la Santé au Travail (AIST 87) for their help in our data collection in the mines’ archives.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Blandine Vacquier
    • 1
  • Agnès Rogel
    • 1
  • Klervi Leuraud
    • 1
  • Sylvaine Caer
    • 2
  • Alain Acker
    • 2
  • Dominique Laurier
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Institut de Radioprotection et de Sûreté NucléaireFontenay aux RosesFrance
  2. 2.Paris Cedex 09France

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