Original article

Scand J Work Environ Health 2004;30(2):157-163    pdf

doi:10.5271/sjweh.773

Occupational radiation dose estimation for Finnish aircraft cabin attendants

by Kojo K, Aspholm R, Auvinen A

Objectives The objective of this study was to develop a method for assessing dose radiation on the basis of individual flight history and to estimate whether this method is applicable for cabin attendants without flight log data.

Methods Questionnaire data was collected to determine attendants` flight history covering up to three decades. Finnair timetables and an expert panel of pilots were used to determine one to four representative flights in five route categories. The cumulative career and annual doses were calculated on the basis of the flight histories and route-specific exposure data.

Results Questionnaire data were obtained from 544 flight attendants. The mean number of active work-years was 10.5 (range 0-30) years, and the mean cosmic radiation dose was 3.2 (range 0-9.5) mSv per active work-year. The mean cumulative career dose for all the cabin attendants was 34.0 (range 0-156.8) mSv.

Conclusions If no flight log data are available, survey data are needed for individual dose estimation when possible radiation effects on cabin crew are evaluated in epidemiologic studies. This method provides a crude procedure for assessing cosmic radiation exposure among attendants when survey data are missing.