This paper describes observed and expected mortality from cancers of the lung, larynx, nose, and kidney in a cohort of 54,509 nickel workers followed for 35 years. For analysis purposes the cohort was subdivided into men with and without service in one of the three high nickel dust areas of the operation: the Sinter Plants at Copper Cliff and Coniston, and the Leaching, Calcining and Sintering (LC&S) department at Port Colborne. At Copper Cliff Sinter Plant workers experienced three times the expected number of lung cancer deaths; the SMR rose steeply with increasing duration of service peaking at 943 with 10 to 15 years. A similar overall excess risk of lung cancer was seen in the smaller Coniston Sinter Plant again with an indication of an exposure risk gradient. Men in the LC&S department at Port Colborne also experienced a dose related excess risk of lung cancer death that rose to an SMR of 806 with 20 to 25 years of service. Nasal cancer deaths were increased at both the Copper Cliff Sinter Plant (6 deaths) and the LC&S department at Port Colborne (19 deaths), representing SMRs of 3,704 and 7,755, respectively, for this rare cancer. Laryngeal cancer and kidney cancer, both previously associated with nickel, were not in excess in these high risk groups. A further exploration of death from these causes in the lower exposure remainder of the cohort revealed an epidemiologically modest elevation in lung cancer death in miners (probably not nickel related) and parts of the Copper Refinery. No evidence of laryngeal cancer excess was found.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
Following the publication of the NIOSH nickel criteria document in 1977, the Joint Occupational Health Committee of the International Nickel Company (INCO) commissioned a mortality study of the company's Ontario workforce. This paper describes the detailed methodology and primary mortality results of the ensuing study; subsequent papers will describe more detailed findings of cause-specific mortality. An historical prospective mortality study of approximately 54,000 INCO workers has been conducted. Men with six months or more of service were followed for mortality during a 35-year period by computerized record linkage to the Canadian National Mortality Data Base. From a company-provided list of men known to have died and through independent follow-up of a random sample of 1,000 subjects of unknown status, we estimate a mortality ascertainment rate of 95%. Cause-specific standardized mortality ratios calculated with respect to Ontario provincial mortality rates indicate an excess of accidental deaths in men working in the Sudbury area and an excess of cancer deaths at the company's Port Colborne nickel refinery. A strong healthy worker effect was found for both all-disease mortality ad cancer mortality. The lower than expected mortality persisted for about 15 years beyond initial hiring.
The first objective of the study was to investigate the relationships between quantitative lung mineral dust burdens, dust exposure history, and pathological fibrosis grading in silicotic workers. The second objective was to evaluate the association between particle size parameters, concentration of retained silica particles and the severity of the silicosis. Sixty-seven paraffin-embedded lung tissue samples of silicotic patients were analyzed. The cases of silicosis included 39 non-lung cancer patients and 28 patients with lung cancer. All of the cases were gold miners in the Province of Ontario, Canada.
Particles, both angular and fibrous, were extracted from lung parenchyma by a bleach digestion method, mounted on copper microscopic grids by a carbon replica technique, and analyzed by transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDS). Quartz concentration was also determined by X-ray diffraction (XRD) on a silver membrane filter after the extraction from the lung parenchyma.
Total particles, silica, clay, and quartz also increase in concentration with increased age at death, although the trends are not statistically significant. Quartz concentration has a statistically significant correlation with the silicosis severity score (r = +0.45, p