Online Program

Chronic lymphocytic leukemia and ionizing radiation: Evolution of science and policy

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

David Richardson, PhD, Department of Epidemiology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
While the cells giving rise to most types of leukemia and lymphoma are considered to be extremely sensitive to the carcinogenic effects of ionizing radiation, it has been presumed that chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) incidence was insensitive to the carcinogenic effects of radiation. This presumption was formalized in the United States' Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act of 2000, under which all claims for CLL had to be rejected because of the assertion that the risk of radiation-induced CLL was zero. In February, 2012 the DHHS issued a revision to its guidelines. Under this new rule, CLL is treated as being potentially caused by radiation and potentially compensable under the Act. This presentation will offer a brief review of the evolution of thinking about CLL from a scientific perspective and with regards to the Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program's handling of claims for this disease.

Learning Areas:

Occupational health and safety
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
Explain the evolution in thinking that has occurred for the radiogenicity and compensability of CLL.

Keyword(s): Occupational Disease, Workers' Compensation

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Investigator on numerous epidemiologic studies of nuclear workers.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

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.