Historical Exposures to Chemicals at the Rocky Flats Nuclear Weapons Plant: A Pilot Retrospective Exposure Assessment

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In a mortality study of white males who had worked at the Rocky Flats Nuclear Weapons Plant between 1952 and 1979, an increased number of deaths from benign and unspecified intracranial neoplasms was found. A case-control study nested within this cohort investigated the hypothesis that an association existed between brain tumor death and exposure to either internally deposited plutonium or external ionizing radiation. There was no statistically significant association found between estimated radiation exposure from internally deposited plutonium and the development of brain tumors. Exposure by job or work area showed no significant difference between the cohort and the control ... continued below

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Medium: P; Size: 359 pages

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Robertson, Janeen Denise February 1, 1999.

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In a mortality study of white males who had worked at the Rocky Flats Nuclear Weapons Plant between 1952 and 1979, an increased number of deaths from benign and unspecified intracranial neoplasms was found. A case-control study nested within this cohort investigated the hypothesis that an association existed between brain tumor death and exposure to either internally deposited plutonium or external ionizing radiation. There was no statistically significant association found between estimated radiation exposure from internally deposited plutonium and the development of brain tumors. Exposure by job or work area showed no significant difference between the cohort and the control groups. An update of the study found elevated risk estimates for (1) all lymphopoietic neoplasms, and (2) all causes of death in employees with body burdens greater than or equal to two nanocuries of plutonium. There was an excess of brain tumors for the entire cohort. Similar cohort studies conducted on worker populations from other plutonium handling facilities have not yet shown any elevated risks for brain tumors. Historically, the Rocky Flats Nuclear Weapons Plant used large quantities of chemicals in their production operations. The use of solvents, particularly carbon tetrachloride, was unique to Rocky Flats. No investigation of the possible confounding effects of chemical exposures was done in the initial studies. The objectives of the present study are to (1) investigate the history of chemical use at the Rocky Flats facility; (2) locate and analyze chemical monitoring information in order to assess employee exposure to the chemicals that were used in the highest volume; and (3) determine the feasibility of establishing a chemical exposure assessment model that could be used in future epidemiology studies.

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Medium: P; Size: 359 pages

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OSTI as DE00003721

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  • Other Information: TH: Thesis (Ph.D.); Submitted to Univ. of New Mexico, College of Pharmacy, Albuquerque, NM (US)

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  • Report No.: LA-13540-T
  • Grant Number: W-7405-ENG-36
  • DOI: 10.2172/3721 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 3721
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc683469

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  • February 1, 1999

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  • July 25, 2015, 2:20 a.m.

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  • March 21, 2016, 8:47 p.m.

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Robertson, Janeen Denise. Historical Exposures to Chemicals at the Rocky Flats Nuclear Weapons Plant: A Pilot Retrospective Exposure Assessment, thesis or dissertation, February 1, 1999; New Mexico. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc683469/: accessed September 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.