The purpose of this study is to conduct a preliminary design and feasibility analysis for a future epidemiological study designed to quantify health risks among nuclear workers in Ontario who have been exposed to ionizing radiation from internal emitters.
The nuclear industry has been and will continue to be an important industry in Canada and particularly in Ontario, employing over 20,000 individuals annually. Some of these workers are exposed to internal and/or external ionizing radiation. While the health effects of exposure to external radiation have been examined extensively, the same cannot be said for the health effects of internal radiation. Furthermore, Ontario nuclear facilities operate CANDU reactors that run on natural uranium fuel and heavy-water (tritium) that is used for moderation/cooling in the CANDU systems. The effect of tritium and other internal emitters on the health of nuclear workers has not been assessed in Ontario. Therefore, an Ontario based study is necessary to assess the potential impacts, if any.
The first phase of the feasibility study will be to engage the relevant stakeholders to discuss the sources of data needed for the full study. A list of employers with eligible workers will be enumerated and a sample of employment records will be selected. These records will be examined for availability, quality, and completeness of information needed for the full study. The feasibility of the future study will be assessed against pre-determined criteria.
The main intended outcome of the proposed feasibility study is a critical assessment of whether an epidemiological study designed to quantify health risks among nuclear workers in Ontario could be conducted in Canada.
The feasibility study has been completed and a final report was submitted to the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board.
Loraine Marrett (Occupational Cancer Research Centre and Cancer Care Ontario) (Co-PI)
Minh Do (Occupational Cancer Research Centre) (Co-PI)
Paul Demers (Occupational Cancer Research Centre and Cancer Care Ontario)
John McLaughlin (Occupational Cancer Research Centre and Cancer Care Ontario)
Anna Koné (Cancer Care Ontario)
Garthika Navaranjan (Occupational Cancer Research Centre)
Elisabeth Cardis (Center for Research in Environmental Epidemiology)