A historical prospective study of cancer in lamp manufacturing workers in one plant was conducted. All men and women who worked for a total of at least 6 months and were employed at some time between 1960 and 1975 were included. Work histories were abstracted and subjects were divided according to whether they had worked in the coiling and wire drawing area (CWD). Cancer morbidity from 1964 to 1982 was ascertained via the provincial registry, and was compared with the site-specific incidence in Ontario, adjusting for age, sex and calendar period. Of particular interest were primary breast and gynecological cancers in women. The cancers of a priori concern were significantly increased in women in CWD, but not elsewhere in the plant. The excess was greatest in those with more than 5 yr exposure (in CWD) and more than 15 yr since first working in CWD, with eight cases of breast and gynecological cancers observed in this category compared with 2.67 expected. Only three cancers occurred in men in CWD. Environmental measurements had not been made in the past and little information was available on substances used in the 1940s and 1950s, the period when the women with the highest excess began employment. It is known that methylene chloride and trichlorethylene have been used, but not enough is known about the dates and patterns of use to draw any conclusions about their relationship with the increase in disease.
An historical prospective mortality study of INCO's Ontario work-force has been conducted. A cohort of approximately 54 000 men, employed in all aspects of the extraction and refining of copper and nickel from the Sudbury ore deposit, have been followed for mortality between 1950 and 1976. A total of 5 283 deaths were identified by computerized record-linkage to the Canadian Mortality Data Base of death certificates. The analysis focuses on mortality from cancer of the nasal sinuses, larynx, lung, and kidney. Little evidence was found for increased mortality from laryngeal or kidney cancer, but lung and nasal cancer deaths were clearly elevated in men exposed to the two Sudbury area sinter plants and at Port Colborne in the leaching, calcining, and sintering department. The standardized mortality ratio (SMR) for lung cancer increases linearly with increasing duration of exposure and there is no evidence of a threshold. The nasal cancer mortality rate also rises linearly with duration of exposure. While lung cancer has a greater excess in the Sudbury sinter plant than at Port Colborne, the reverse is true for mortality from nasal cancer, which is ten times more frequent at Port Colborne than at Sudbury.
The life expectancy of individuals with haemophilia was close to that of the general population in the early 1980s. Since then, life expectancy has decreased, due to transfusion-transmitted virus infections. Deaths in individuals with haemophilia were investigated by analysing 2450 records from the Canadian Hemophilia Registry, for the years 1980-1995. Deaths were tabulated by age, year and cause, and compared with that of the Canadian male population by calculating standardized mortality ratios (SMRs). The median life expectancy at 1 year of age was calculated for various subpopulations and the impact of various population characteristics was assessed by survival regression modelling. There were 359 deaths and the annual number of deaths increased significantly after 1986. Risk factors were seropositivity to human immunodeficiency virus (relative risk 16.7, 95% CI 11.1-25.1), severe haemophilia (1.9, 1.3-2.7) and moderate haemophilia (1.8, 1.2-2.6). In HIV antibody negative individuals, the overall death rate was not increased (SMR 0.9, 95% CI 0.7-1.1) and only haemorrhage was significantly increased. In HIV antibody positive individuals, causes of death which were significantly increased were acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, liver failure, haemorrhage, lymphoma, liver cancer, nonspecific infections, and trauma or violence. Deaths due to the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome accounted for only 66% of the excess deaths in individuals who were HIV antibody positive. Life expectancy has markedly decreased since the onset of the HIV epidemic. The impact of HIV is underestimated by considering only deaths due to the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome; other HIV-linked causes need also to be considered.
A method of providing experience for readers in the classification of radiographs for pneumoconiosis is described. It is based on an exchange of films by mail, with provision for ongoing feedback of results. The effects of this feedback on reading levels is described. The method is suitable for readers who are unable to attend major centers for formal instruction, and has the additional advantage of continual monitoring of reading levels.
Occupational exposures to the 55 hydrocarbon components of gasoline and petroleum products were measured at the bulk terminals and agencies of six Ontario petroleum companies during the summer of 1986. A total of 82 long-term (full-shift) and 111 short-term personal samples were taken over 3 months. The data, expressed as concentrations in milligrams per cubic meter, were highly variable and appeared to fit the lognormal distribution well. Full-shift exposures of bulk terminal drivers, agency drivers, and plantmen to total hydrocarbons (THC), computed as an n-hexane equivalent, and other hydrocarbon components for which exposure limits exist can be expected to exceed their respective 1986-1987 threshold limit value-time-weighted average (TLV-TWA) no greater than 1% of the time on the basis of the lognormal model. The short-term THC exposures of agency truck drivers can be expected to exceed the 1986-1987 TLV-short-term exposure limits about 7% of the time while top-loading and more than 17% while off-loading. For benzene, the short-term exceedance percentages are 1% and 4% for top- and off-loading operations, respectively. For long-term benzene exposures, up to 69% of the assessments can be expected to exceed the 1990-1991 proposed TLV-TWA of 0.3 mg/m3 (0.1 ppm). The full-shift hydrocarbon exposures of agency drivers were significantly higher than those for bulk terminal drivers. At the bulk terminals, the short-term hydrocarbon exposures during top-loading were significantly higher than during bottom-loading.
A historical prospective mortality study was conducted at an insulating wool plant in Ontario, Canada, on 2576 men who had worked for at least 90 days and were employed between 1955 and 1977. Eighty eight deaths were found in the 97.2% of men traced. Mortality was compared by the person-years method with that of the Ontario population. Measurements taken since 1977 show very low fibre concentrations. The overall standardised mortality ratio (SMR) was 78%, significantly below 100. Among plant only employees, seven deaths were attributed to lung cancer compared with 4.22 expected, a non-significant excess (SMR = 166; 95% confidence limits 67 to 342). No confirmed cases of mesothelioma were observed and no other disease was significantly increased in plant workers.
Cites: Arch Environ Health. 1971 Jul;23(1):67-764103314
This study evaluated the mortality experience of workers from the styrene-butadiene rubber industry. Concerns about a possible association of 1,3-butadiene and styrene with lymphohaematopoietic, gastrointestinal, and lung cancers prompted the investigation.
A retrospective follow up study was conducted of 15,649 men employed for at least one year at any of eight North American styrene-butadiene rubber plants. Analyses used standardised mortality ratios (SMRs) to compare styrene-butadiene rubber workers' cause specific mortalities (1943-91) with those of the United States and Ontario general populations.
On average, there were 25 years of follow up per subject. The standardised mortality ratio (SMR) was 87 (95% confidence interval (95% CI) 85 to 90) for all causes of death combined and was 93 (95% CI 87 to 99) for all cancers. There was an excess of leukaemia (SMR 131, 95% CI 97 to 174), restricted to hourly workers (SMR 143, 95% CI 104 to 191). For causes of death other than leukaemia, SMRs were close to or below the null value of 100. Results by work area (process group) were unremarkable for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, multiple myeloma, and stomach cancer. Maintenance workers had a slight increase in deaths from lung cancer, and certain subgroups of workers had more than expected deaths from cancer of the large intestine and the larynx.
This study found an excess of leukaemia that is likely to be due to exposure to butadiene or to butadiene plus other chemicals. Deaths from non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, multiple myeloma, and stomach cancer did not seem to be related to occupational exposure. The excess deaths from lung cancer among maintenance workers may be due in part to confounding by smoking, which was not controlled for, and in part to an unidentified occupational exposure other than butadiene or styrene. Increases in cancer of the large intestine and larynx were based on small numbers, did not seem to be due to exposure to butadiene or styrene, and may be chance observations.