Research Papers in Physics and Astronomy


Date of this Version

March 1985


Published in THE SCIENCE OF THE TOTAL ENVIRONMENT 45 (1985), pp. 527-534. Special Issue: Exposure to Enhanced Natural Radiation and Its Regulatory Implications Proceedings of a Conference held in Maastricht, The Netherlands, March 25-27, 1985. Copyright (c) 1985 Elsevier Science BV. Used by permission.


A survey of inhabitant exposures arising from the inhalation of radon and thoron daughters, and lung cancer mortality has been carried out in two adjacent areas in Guangdong province, China, designated as the "high background" and the "control" area. Annual exposure rates are 0.38 WLM/yr in the high background, and 0.16 WLM/yr in the control area, while age-adjusted mortality rates are 2.7 per 105 living people of all ages in the high background, and 2.9 per 105 in the control area. From this data we conclude that we are unable to determine the excess lung cancer rate over normal fluctuations below a cumulative exposure of about 15 WLM. This conclusion is supported by lung cancer mortality data from an Austrian high background area.

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