The Committee on Medical Aspects of Radiation in the Environment (COMARE) has just published an updated review of the incidence of childhood leukaemia and other cancers around the Sellafield and Dounreay nuclear installations.
COMARE were established in 1985 with the following terms of reference:
“To assess and advise government and the devolved administrations on the health effects of natural and man-made radiation and to assess the adequacy of the available data and the need for further research.”
COMARE have already previously published nine reports considering cancer risk at one or other or both of the afore mentioned nuclear installations. Whilst this latest report took account of new information, on radioactive discharges, it does not appear to have significantly changed the understanding of the potential cancer related impacts on the communities surrounding these installations. Interestingly the report does highlight areas where further information may assist understanding. For example, the report emphasises that more credence should be given to childhood leukaemia having an infectious causation, and as a result be subject to a greater research effort. To find out more the report may be downloaded here.
If you are interested to know more about COMARE’s other on-going areas of work for this year their current workload programme can be downloaded at https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/520411/COMARE_work_programme_-_March_2016.pdf. This includes keeping a watching brief on the progress of the policy “radon in homes”.