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First epidemiological study on occupational radar exposure in the French Navy: a 26-year cohort study

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This retrospective cohort study deals with the causes of death among 57,000 military personnel who served in the French Navy surface vessels and were observed over the period 1975–2000. We successively compared the mortality rate and the specific causes of death between two groups differing in their potential exposure levels to radar. Occupational exposure was defined according to the on-board workplace (radar and control groups). The age-adjusted death ratios of the navy personnel were compared. For all causes of death, the results showed that 885 deaths in the radar group and 299 in the control group occurred (RR = 1.00 (95 % CI: 0.88–1.14)). RRs were 0.92 (95 % CI: 0.69–1.24) for neoplasms. For the duration of follow-up, the results did not show an increased health risk for military personnel exposed to higher levels of radio frequencies in the radar group, but the number of deaths was very small for some cancer sites.
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Keywords: epidemiology; exposure; mortality; occupational hazards; radiofrequency

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Biological Effects of Radiation Department, Institut de recherche biomédicale des armées, Brétigny sur Orge, France 2: DGA Techniques navales, Avenue de la Tour royale, Toulon Cedex, France

Publication date: March 3, 2016

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