International workshop “Background radiation and cancer risks in children”

The two-day international workshop was held on June 5-6, 2018 at the Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine (ISPM) of the University of Bern. The aim of the workshop was to evaluate how epidemiological studies of exposure to background radiation and childhood cancer risks can contribute to a better understanding of the effects of low-dose ionizing radiation.

About 50 researchers and experts from the fields of radiation epidemiology, public health, radiological protection and nuclear safety. The invited speakers came from Britain, Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, and the United States.

During the first day of the workshop, researchers presented the results of previous epidemiological studies on this subject, highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of their studies.

Day 2 offered room for a more detailed discussion of the main open questions and methodological challenges. Researchers sought possible explanations for the differences in results between studies and discussed the challenge of improving exposure assessment. The researchers also shared their plans for further research in their countries and discussed the possibility of pooling data in a future multi-national study.