Updated study suggests that background radiation contributes to the risk of leukemia and brain tumors in children

In an update of our previous study on background radiation and childhood cancer risks, we found renewed evidence suggesting that natural background radiation contributes to the development of leukemia and tumors of the central nervous system. The study included all children aged 0-15 years living in Switzerland, as recorded in national censuses in 1990, 2000, and 2010-2015. Children’s exposures were estimated based on their location of residence and the new radiation map developed by our team (see previous news item). The article is published in Open Access.


Mazzei-Abba A, Folly CL, Kreis C, Ammann RA, Adam C, Brack E, Egger M, Kuehni CE, Spycher BD. External background ionizing radiation and childhood cancer: Update of a nationwide cohort analysis. J Environ Radioact. 2021;238-239:106734. doi: 10.1016/j.jenvrad.2021.106734. Epub 2021 Sep 11