Objective: to assess the effects of radioactive emissions from the EU Joint Research Centre (JRC) (nuclear) at Ispra, the Local Health Authority (ASL) of Varese carried out an ecological study to measure any excess incidence of cancer in the surrounding population. Design and setting: after estimation of historical exposure levels in the surrounding population, the incidence rates of leukaemia and other exposure-related tumours were calculated from data in the population based Lombardy Cancer Registry (Varese Province). By indirect standardization, the expected cases (based on incidence rate in the Province) were compared with observed cases in the close-by municipality of Ispra, in municipalities within a 5 km radius of the JRC (5kmArea) and in the area covered by the District of Sesto Calende (DistrictArea). Results: in the period 1982-1998, mean populations were 4,687 (Ispra), 32,120 (5kmArea) and 43,707 (DistrictArea); the population of the Province was 793,752. The numbers of cancers registered were 374, 2,920, 4,099 and 72,246 respectively. Significant excesses of leukaemia were not found in Ispra (SIR 0.33, 95% CI 0.07-0.96) or the 5kmArea (SIR 0.83, 95% CI 0.63-1.08). For all cancers combined and for the commonest cancers (breast, cob-rectal) the numbers of incident cases were lower than expected. Conclusions: consistent with the low levels of exposure detected, and despite the fears of the local people, no incidence excesses of cancers was found in Ispra, the town closest to the JRC, or in the surrounding areas. It may be worth searching for excess cancer among exposed workers.
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Epidemiologia e prevenzione|
|Publication status||Published - Nov 2009|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health