To investigate the cancer risk and other causes of mortality of airline pilots and cabin crew in relation to their exposure to occupational risk factors.
Aeroplane pilots and cabin crew are exposed to a number of potential occupational risk factors, among them cosmic radiation, engine emissions, electromagnetic fields, disturbances of circadian rhythm, and lifestyle-related factors. The actual radiation dose received by flying personnel varies between 0.2 and 9.1 mSv/year.Current knowledge on health effects of these exposures has remained inconclusive due to limitations of previous studies.
The study aims at conducting historical cohort studies in the participating countries and combining the data in a joint analysis. Thus a large cohort of some 22 000 pilots and 47 000 crew members can be formed. Mortality data of this group is to be collected via standard procedures established in the countries. Comparisons with the mortality of the general population will be performed (SMR-analysis). Surrogates of occupational exposure such as time and length of employment and data from measurement of radiation and other exposures will be incorporated into job-exposure matrices and used to perform internal comparisons between exposure groups.
The project includes the carrying-out of the national cohort studies according to a common protocol and the joint analysis of the pooled data. Benefits of the study will include increased scientific knowledge about the relationship of occupational risk factors and mortality which can influence decisions on work protection standards of flying personnel.
Flying personnel, occupational risk factors, low dose radiation, mortality, cancer mortality, cohort study.