152197 A model for occupational health studies at sensitive federal facilities: The Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant

Monday, November 5, 2007

Nancy Reinhart , School of Public Health and Info. Sciences, Dept of Evn and Occ Health Sciences, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY
Therese S. Hughes, PhD , Epidemiology, University of Louisville School of Public Health and Information Sciences, Louisville, KY
Susan B. Muldoon, PhD, MPH , Epidemiology, University of Louisville School of Public Health and Information Sciences, Louisville, KY
Tim Aldrich, PhD , College of Public Health, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY
David J. Tollerud, MD, MPH , Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, University of Louisville School of Public Health and Information Sciences, Louisville, KY
Study Background: In a collaborative effort between the University of Louisville, the University of Kentucky and the University of Cincinnati, the authors are conducting a retrospective occupational cohort mortality study of workers from the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant (PGDP) for 1953 to 2003. PGDP's primary function has been to produce enriched uranium for use by commercial reactors. The objective of this study is to determine if PGDP workers have a fatality rate that exceeds that of the general population, particularly for cancer.

Population Studied: To date, the group has compiled an occupational cohort of 6859 workers, attaining vital status on 99%. Of those confirmed dead, underlying cause of death has been obtained for 97.4%, exceeding original expectations.

Data Analysis: The data analysis will include an all-cause life table analysis (LTAS) and a longitudinal modeling approach for specific cancers of interest. The LTAS data format is compatible with the NDI reports by specific cause and date of death for insertion into the LTAS ICD-specific actuarial analyses. For our analysis, we will apply U.S. mortality rates as external comparisons.

Conclusion: After September 11, 2001, policy shifts occurred within the federal government that had dramatic impact on studies of sites classified as sensitive, such as uranium enrichment plants. This presentation will present a model for a long-term occupational cohort study at such a site, the Paducah Gasseous Diffusion Plant located in Paducah, KY, and present solutions to common policy and regulation barriers surrounding such studies.

Learning Objectives:
Describe investigation process, constructs, and analysis created for a retrospective cohort mortality study of PGDP. Analyze political shifts and federal policy changes (Homeland Security, OSHA, etc.) since September 11, 2001, which impact studies involving uranium enrichment and other sensitive sites. Assess impact of Department of Energy retroactive health compensation policy change that recently occurred for past and present workers at federally managed sites. Identify obstacles of occupational health studies at a site initially owned by the Department of Energy and then privatized mid-study. List successful methodological solutions to the above-mentioned problems that are applicable to occupational studies in general.

Keywords: Occupational Exposure, Federal Policy

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No
Any institutionally-contracted trials related to this submission?

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.