WASHINGTON--The Department of Energy's troubled epidemiology program should double its research on the effects of radiation on workers and expand that research to encompass possible nonradioactive hazards, such as magnetic fields and industrial chemicals, an independent advisory panel has concluded.

The DOE program is responsible for studying the health effects of radiation on humans, both by following the medical history of the survivors of the atomic bombs dropped on Japan at the end of World War II and by comparing the radiation exposure of DOE workers with their medical records. But although the program has sponsored some research on the health effects of chemical and other nonradioactive hazards at DOE facilities, this research historically has played a relatively small part in the epidemiology program.

In an interim report submitted in late November, the panel recommended that the DOE program spend $7.5 million for research on the health effects of chemicals...

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