Researchers Warn of Higher Mesothelioma Risk in Nuclear Plant Workers

Nuclear Disaster Response Research

Radiation-related cancers are not the only health threat to former nuclear plant workers, according to a new published report from the Center for Construction Research and Training and Duke University.

The report finds that people who worked at a DOE nuclear site have a higher risk of death from “all causes, all cancers”, including the asbestos-related cancer mesothelioma.

“Mortality was elevated for all causes, all cancers, cancer of the trachea, bronchus, and lung and lymphatic and hematopoietic system, mesothelioma, COPS, and asbestosis,” writes co-author Dr. Knut Ringen.

The report, published in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine, was based on data from more than 18,800 workers who were part of the Building Trades National Medical Screening Program.

“The central message of this study is that nuclear site workers are not ‘out of the woods’ in terms of their health. Mesothelioma and asbestosis can manifest even decades after exposure, which is why it is especially important for people who worked in these jobs to know and be able to recognize the symptoms,” says Alex Strauss, Managing Editor of Surviving Mesothelioma.

For more on which workers might be at risk and the early warning signs of mesothelioma, visit the Surviving Mesothelioma website.

Read the study: Mortality of older construction and craft workers employed at department of energy nuclear sites.

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