Lung cancer in relation to airborne radiation levels

Knud J. Helsing, Pearl Van Natta, George W. Comstock, Heidi Kalin, Elsbeth Chee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A 1986 aeroradiometric survey of the eastern two-thirds of Washington County, Maryland provided an opportunity to study lung cancers in relation to gamma radiation levels. In the first approach, lung cancer deaths between 1963 and 1975 in four areas of the county categorized as low, moderately low, moderately high, and high showed relative risks of 1.00, 0.93, 1.01, and 1.43, respectively, after adjustment of sex, age, and smoking. A second approach used lung cancer cases diagnosed between 1975 and 1989, controls matched to cases by race, sex, and age, and aerometric radiation readings above the individual residences. In four levels of increasing gamma radiation, odds ratios adjusted for smoking were 1.00, 0.84, 0.90, and 0.92, respectively. No differences were statistically significant.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)437-441
Number of pages5
JournalEnvironment international
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Science(all)


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