Encyclopedia of Cancer

Living Edition
| Editors: Manfred Schwab

Uranium Miners

  • Maria Schnelzer
  • Bernd Grosche
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27841-9_6116-2


In a very strict sense, uranium miners are those involved in uranium production, either in underground or in open pit mining. Furthermore, the term includes individuals in milling and processing, and in an even broader sense those persons who are employed by the mining company but working in unexposed areas.

The most important carcinogen to which uranium miners are exposed to is the radioactive noble gas radon and its progeny (henceforth called radon). Radon itself is a daughter product of uranium decay. And since uranium is not only part of those geological formations containing this metal in a content rich enough for mining but also in other geological environments, the term “uranium miners” does sometimes not only include miners working in uranium mines but also miners exposed to elevated levels of radon.

The miners’ exposure to radon is given in Working Level Months (WLM). A Working Level (WL) is defined as 1.3 × 105MeV of potential alpha energy/L air. A Working Level...


Lung Cancer Risk Uranium Miner Lung Cancer Mortality Excess Relative Risk Radon Exposure 
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See Also

  1. (2012) Small cell lung carcinoma. In: Schwab M (ed) Encyclopedia of cancer, 3rd edn. Springer, Berlin/Heidelberg, p 3448. doi:10.1007/978-3-642-16483-5_5368Google Scholar
  2. (2012) Working level. In: Schwab M (ed) Encyclopedia of cancer, 3rd edn. Springer, Berlin/Heidelberg, p 3957. doi:10.1007/978-3-642-16483-5_6258Google Scholar
  3. (2012) Working level months. In: Schwab M (ed) Encyclopedia of cancer, 3rd edn. Springer, Berlin/Heidelberg, pp 3957–3958. doi:10.1007/978-3-642-16483-5_6260Google Scholar
  4. (2012) Excess relative risk. In: Schwab M (ed) Encyclopedia of cancer, 3rd edn. Springer, Berlin/Heidelberg, p 1356. doi:10.1007/978-3-642-16483-5_2049Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Radiation Protection and HealthBundesamt für Strahlenschutz (Federal Office for Radiation Protection)OberschleissheimGermany