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Content archived on 2024-04-16



The Ardennes A Eifel Project consists of three major studies on the role of radon in the etiology of lung cancer :
Radon and Lung Cancer in the Ardennes A Eifel Region;
Radon dans les Habitations de Bretagne et du Massif Central et Risque de Cancer du Poumon;
Improved Estimates of the Risk of Radon Daughter Inhalations.

The study aims to arrive at complete data of some 1200 cases and 3600 controls over a period of 5 years. Based upon local population distribution patterns and geological extent of the region, a total of 1800 subjects will be identified in Belgian and German hospitals, while some 600 will be obtained from French and Luxembourg clinics. Only subjects who are currently living within the defined study area and who have lived there for at least 25 out of the last 35 years will be included.
An epidemiological study is being carried out on the role of radon in the etiology of lung cancer in the Ardennes Eifel region and in Brittany. In each of the participating countries, Belgium, France, Germany and Luxembourg cases and controls are being collected in a series of hospitals, situated in the respective regions of interest. The radon exposure for the last 35 years is reconstructed through 6 months measurements in the living room and bedroom of the different dwellings occupied by the study objects during the considered time interval.

Through a common 'core' questionnaire items such as occupational exposure, smoking habits and environment tobacco smoke (for nonsmokers and occasional smokers only) are estimated. The coding scheme for these questions will be identical for all participants. The study is set up as a 5 year project in order to arrive at completely analysed data for 1200 cases and 3600 controls. Through contacts with epidemiological research teams in United Kingdom, Sweden and the United States, the possibility of pooling the data from different studies on a larger scale is being considered.

Major progress was achieved in the following domains:
development of a common cove protocol;
draft coding scheme for data collection;
quality assurance exercise (laboratory and high radon house) involving 2 days exposure;
contact with clinics;
training of interviewers;
start of field work.
The radon history will be reconstructed through 6 months measurements in the living and bedroom of the different dwellings. The comparability of the detectors and associated procedures used in the different centres will be investigated through yearly quality control exercises.

The cases will be selected from the departments of pneumonology, bronchoscopy and thorax surgery. Only histologically confirmed cases will be included in the analysis. Study subjects will be interviewed with a standard questionnaire covering risk factors related to lung cancer, such as active and passive smoking, occupational exposure and other factors of interest (eg residential history, house characteristics and health history). Patients aged 75 years or over on their first visit to hospital will be excluded. As controls only persons suffering from diseases not strongly related to tobacco and that are not likely to render them incapable of participating in the study will be included. In each country a local reference pathologist will review the pathological material.

The radon intercomparisons will be organized by the Belgian participant (Univ. Gent), who acts as coordinator for this project. They will also collect all data from the different contractants in an appropriate form and transmit them to the German participant (Univ. Wuppertal) for statistical analysis. The treatment of the data will be done in close collaboration with the epidemiological research team from Oxford. This unit is also taking part in the setting up of the study protocol, in order to develop the study along common lines with the UK project. Finally, through contacts with research groups in Sweden and the USA, we aim to arrive at comparable data registration within all studies on this topic.

In close collaboration between the CEA, the Univ. of Brest and INSERM, a case control study about the risk of indoor radon will also be organized in Bretagne and the Massif Central region. In this study the same protocol will be applied as in the Ardennes A Eifel study. The aim is to arrive at complete data for some 600 cases and 1200 controls over a period of 5 years.

A review of the report ICRPA50 and BEIR IV will be prepared by the Institut fur Strahlenschutz (GSF). Particular attention will be given to the assumptions and models underlying the analysis of the BEIR IV committee. Improved models will be set up to separate the influence of the major cofactors such as age at exposure, smoking habits and duration of exposure. In addition improved algorithms will be developed for use on the Czech miner data. The CEA will apply these algorithms to the follow up data of the French uranium miner study.


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Sint Pietersnieuwstraat 25
9000 GENT

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