Dept. of Public Health & Preventive Medicine
Oregon Health & Science University
Concerns have been widespread that living near nuclear power plants might increase the risk of cancer in surrounding communities. Nuclear power generation is still the most powerful alternative energy; however, we should remind ourselves of its health effects. Studies of the association between living close to nuclear power plants and the risk of cancer, including thyroid cancer, have shown mixed results. The thyroid gland is highly sensitive to the carcinogenic effects of radiation. Few previous studies have shown an association between living close to nuclear power plants and thyroid cancer incidence among people of all ages in the United States (U.S.). The northeastern area has the highest concentration of nuclear power plants in the U.S. Most of the incidence rates close to nuclear power plants in the area were over the U.S. rate, which is 11.0 per 100,000 person-years. Incidence rates of thyroid cancer were quantified and compared between <15 mile, 15 ~ <30 mile, and 30 ~ <45 mile radius from the nearest nuclear power plant. A multivariate mixed-effect model was fitted to characterize the association between the distance <15 mile, 15 ~ <30 mile, and 30 ~ <45 mile zone from the nearest nuclear power plant and incidence rates of thyroid cancer, adjusting for potential confounding variables. After adjusting for confounding variables, the incidence rates of thyroid cancer were not associated with the distance (mile zone) from the nearest nuclear power plant (Î²~N(-0.003, 0.01) p = 0.872). Our study showed no association between the distance from a nuclear power plant and incidence rates of thyroid cancer in the U.S.
School of Medicine
Watase, Hiroko, "Association between thyroid cancer incidence and the distance from nuclear power plants in the U.S." (2012). Scholar Archive. 784.