Society News Archive

3 December 2004

A new epidemiologic study by Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and University of Washington, Seattle, researchers shows no thyroid cancer link to people exposed to iodine-131 releases from Hanford between 1944 and 1957. The final draft publication of data, first released six years ago, appears in the 1 December issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The retrospective cohort study, involving 3,440 Hanford-area residents, found no evidence linking exposure to airborne iodine-131 in childhood or youth to a heightened lifetime risk for thyroid cancer or other thyroid disorders. According to the article 740,000 Ci of iodine-131 were released to the atmosphere from the Hanford Nuclear Site in Washington State from 1944 through 1957. The cohort included a sample of all births from 1940 through 1946 to mothers with usual residence in 1 of 7 counties in eastern Washington State.

The study showed that there was no evidence of a relationship between Hanford radiation dose and the cumulative incidence of any of the outcomes. These results remained unchanged after taking into account several factors that might confound the relationship between radiation dose and the outcomes of interest.