est, including their characteristics in the general or “nonexposed” population and their known or suspected causes. We looked particularly for new information about relationships between exposure to ionizing radiation and other potential hazards during activities similar to those experienced by the designated RECA population and the individual diseases and conditions identified by the public. We reviewed new information about the effects of in utero exposure to radiation and the psychologic consequences of exposure or suspected exposure to radiation, and reviewed information related to the potential for exposure of other populations not eligible for RECA compensation but with circumstances and potential for exposure that may have been similar to those of RECA-eligible populations, such as those who were in utero and at risk during the nuclear-testing period. We also address other issues regarding eligibility for RECA compensation which the public brought to the committee’s attention. These include concerns in two areas about claimants failed attempts to use affidavits in establishing proof of eligibility.

Our findings are reported here for diseases not currently compensable under RECA for some RECA-eligible populations and for specific populations that are not listed among those eligible for compensation. The diseases are categorized as malignant (or cancerous) and nonmalignant (or noncancerous).

MALIGNANT DISEASES

Leukemia

Members of the public drew the committee’s attention to an apparent inconsistency in compensation under RECA: all types of leukemia except chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) are compensable as radiogenic diseases for downwinders and onsite participants but not for uranium miners, millers, or ore transporters. Non CLL leukemia is compensable in a number of other exposed populations.

Leukemia in Uranium Miners

As reported in Chapter 4, a strong association between radiation and all types of leukemia other than CLL has been identified in several populations exposed to external penetrating radiation (gamma and x rays) at doses generally greater than 200 mSv and at high dose rates. However, as noted in Chapter 4, uranium miners are exposed primarily to alpha-particle radiation from inhaled radon. No exposure pathway has been established whereby immature blood cells are exposed to radiation from radon daughters suspended in air. However, a pathway has been proposed on the basis of the transfer of radon gas from the pulmonary region of the lung into the blood and from the blood to fat cells distributed in the bone marrow (Eatough and Henshaw, 1993). Allen and



The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement