Previous research updated the mortality experience of North American synthetic rubber industry workers during the period 1944-1998, determined if leukemia and other cancers were associated with several employment factors and carried out Poisson regression analysis to examine exposure-response associations between estimated exposure to 1,3-butadiene (BD) or other chemicals and cancer. The present study used Cox regression procedures to examine further the exposure-response relationship between several unlagged and lagged, continuous, time-dependent BD exposure indices (BD parts per million (ppm)-years, the total number of exposures to BD concentrations >100 ppm ("peaks") and average intensity of BD) and leukemia, lymphoid neoplasms and myeloid neoplasms. All three BD exposure indices were associated positively with leukemia. Using continuous, untransformed BD ppm-years the regression coefficient (beta) from an analysis that controlled only for age was 2.9 x 10(-4) (p
[Methodological approach to the study of health status of the population in relation to water pollution with chemical substances with embryotropic effect (e.g. isoprene in the production of synthetic rubber)].
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.
A cohort of 12,110 male workers employed 1 or more years in eight styrene-butadiene polymer (SBR) manufacturing plants in the United States and Canada has been followed for mortality over a 40-year period, 1943 to 1982. The all-cause mortality of these workers was low [standardized mortality ratio (SMR) = 0.81] compared to that of the general population. However, some specific sites of cancers had SMRs that exceeded 1.00. These sites were then examined by major work divisions. The sites of interest included leukemia and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in whites. The SMRs for cancers of the digestive tract were higher than expected, especially esophageal cancer in whites and stomach cancer in blacks. The SMR for arteriosclerotic heart disease in black workers was significantly higher than would be expected based on general population rates. Employees were assigned to a work area based on job longest held. The SMRs for specific diseases differed by work area. Production workers showed increased SMRs for hematologic neoplasms and maintenance workers, for digestive cancers. A significant excess SMR for arteriosclerotic heart disease occurred only in black maintenance workers, although excess mortality from this disease occurred in blacks regardless of where they worked the longest. A significant excess SMR for rheumatic heart disease was associated with work in the combined, all-other work areas. For many causes of death, there were significant deficits in the SMRs.
Epidemiologic evidence on the relation between reactive chemicals and cancer is reviewed. These highly reactive chemicals (acrylonitrile; bis[chloromethyl]ether and chloromethyl methyl ether; 1,3-butadiene, ethylene oxide; formaldehyde; mustard gas; sulfuric acid; and vinyl chloride) vary in use and exposure. All are animal carcinogens that also have received considerable epidemiologic attention. Acrylonitrile is a chemical of current economic importance. The epidemiologic evidence is quite weak, but the available studies were very small. Epidemiologic studies clearly demonstrate that bis (chloromethyl) ether and chloromethyl methyl ether cause lung cancer. Continued follow-up of exposed workers is encouraged to provide information on risks for other cancers. Results from epidemiologic studies of butadiene-exposed workers are somewhat inconsistent, but the largest study with the best exposure assessment found the largest relative risk for leukemia. The failure of several larger studies to replicate the early Swedish findings of a very strong association between leukemia and ethylene oxide has not been adequately explained. Epidemiologic studies of formaldehyde provide limited evidence for an association with cancer of the nasopharynx and possibly with nasal cancer. These very rare tumors, however, are difficult to study epidemiologically. Mustard gas is a well-established lung carcinogen, but a recent follow-up of the English cohort suggests that other sites also may be affected. Sulfuric acid appears to cause laryngeal cancer. A suggested relationship with lung cancer in a few studies is of concern because of the widespread opportunity for exposure from ambient air pollution. Vinyl chloride causes angiosarcoma of the liver, but a large, multi-country study provided no clear evidence that other sites are affected.