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occupational health

Occupational health

Comparative mortality and risk factors for death among US Supreme Court Justices: An update

Background

February 13, 2016 saw the unexpected death of US Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. Justice Scalia was born March 11, 1936, making him just shy of 80 years old at the time of his death. The death of Justice Scalia marks the first death of a US Supreme Court Justice since September of 2005, when Justice William Rehnquist died.

In collabortion with two of our colleagues, we published a paper in the Journal of Insurance Medicine in 2015 about the mortality of US Supreme Court Justices. In that paper we presented results from studying the life and death of all 112 Justices that had served from 1789 through the end of 2013.

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Radiation and astronaut mortality, Part 2: Gathering the measurements

In order to estimate radiation doses in space, I had to make some basic assumptions. First, I assumed that radiation dose levels would vary by some measurable factors: altitude, orbital inclination, and the type of spacecraft. If this were true, then the dose received would depend on how much time was spent at any given location defined by these parameters. While these assumptions do not account for all the factors according to which radiation dose rates might vary (e.g., solar particle events and variation in the solar cycle may have an impact), they are a reasonable starting point.

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