A model for cancer induction in man exposed to low doses of radiation and based on the analysis of a survey of workers from a nuclear fuel processing plant is examined and compared with that adopted by the ICRP to limit risks to radiation workers. It is shown that claims that ICRP has significantly underestimated the risk apply primarily to those exposed in later life, and arise from assumptions regarding the age dependence of sensitivity to radiation which are questionable. A preliminary attempt is made to test the proposed model using the United Kingdom luminiser population. Deaths from cancers in four tissues believed to be sensitive to radiation induced carcinogenesis are examined and the observed number of deaths in the study population is compared with the number predicted by the model. Taken individually, only one of these sites rejects the model but taken together these four sites, which comprise about half the cancer observed in the luminiser population, provide a conclusive rejection of the model.
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