Mortality among workers engaged in the development or manufacture of styrene-based products--an update.
Mortality was updated another 11 years through 1986 for a previously studied cohort of 2904 male chemical workers who were potentially exposed to styrene and related materials for a year or more between 1937 and 1971. Substantial deficits in mortality from all causes and total cancer were observed in the cohort when it was compared with white males in the United States, and also other chemical workers who were unexposed to styrene-based products. Mortality from leukemia was slightly less than expected during the updated period, in contrast to an excess of lymphatic leukemia observed in the original period. Yet small elevations in risk of other types of lymphatic cancer, particularly multiple myeloma, persisted. The risk of these cancers did not increase with estimated intensity or duration of styrene exposure. The findings are discussed in context with those of studies of similarly exposed workers in related industries.