ORIGINAL PAPER
Occupational exposure to radon for underground tourist routes in Poland: Doses to lung and the risk of developing lung cancer
 
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Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine, Łódź, Poland (Department of Radiological Protection)
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR
Katarzyna Walczak   

Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine, Department of Radiological Protection, św. Teresy 8, 91-348 Łódź, Poland
 
Int J Occup Med Environ Health 2017;30(5):687–694
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Referred to by: Mortazavi JSM, Bevelacqua JJ, Fornalski KW, Pennington CW, Welsh J, Janiak MK, et al. Letter to the editor (August 24, 2017) concerning the paper “Occupational exposure to radon for underground tourist routes in Poland: Doses to lung and the risk of developing lung cancer”. Int J Occup Med Environ Health. Forthcoming 2018, https://doi.org/10.13075/ijomeh.1896.01257.

ABSTRACT
Objectives: Radon concentrations for 31 Polish underground tourist routes were analyzed. The equivalent dose to the lung, the effective dose and the relative risk were calculated for employees of the analyzed routes on the grounds of information on radon concentrations, work time, etc. Material and Methods: The relative risk for lung cancers was calculated using the Biological Effects of Ionizing Radiation (BEIR) VI Committee model. Equivalent doses to the lungs of workers were determined using the coefficients calculated by the Kendall and Smith. The conversion coefficient proposed by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in the report No. 33 was used for estimating the effective doses. Results: In 13 routes, the effective dose was found to be above 1 mSv/year, and in 3 routes, it exceeded 6 mSv/year. For 5 routes, the equivalent dose to lungs was higher than 100 mSv/year, and in 1 case it was as high as 490 mSv/year. In 22.6% of underground workplaces the risk of developing lung cancer among employees was about 2 times higher than that for the general population, and for 1 tourist route it was about 5 times higher. The geometric mean of the relative risk of lung cancer for all workers of underground tourist routes was 1.73 (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.6–1.87). Routes were divided into: caves, mines, post-military underground constructions and urban underground constructions. Conclusions: The difference between levels of the relative risk of developing lung cancer for all types of underground tourist routes was not found to be significant. If we include the professional group of the employees of underground tourist routes into the group of occupational exposure, the number of persons who are included in the Category A due to occupational exposure may increase by about 3/4. The professional group of the employees of underground tourist routes should be monitored for their exposure to radon. Int J Occup Med Environ Health 2017;30(5):687–694
eISSN:1896-494X
ISSN:1232-1087