Original article

Scand J Work Environ Health 1986;12 suppl 1:53-60    pdf

Mortality of workers in a German rock-wool factory--a second look with extended follow-up.

by Claude J, Frentzel-Beyme R

A cohort of 2,092 workers employed in a German rock-wool factory was followed until the end of 1982, and the mortality experience was compared with the national mortality rates and the rates of an internal reference cohort. This mortality analysis revealed a standardized mortality ratio (SMR) of 110 for overall mortality. Significantly more malignant neoplasms occurred than were expected (SMR 127). The increase in risk for lung cancer (SMR 121), which was not statistically significant, was also not related to time since first exposure or length of employment. The occurrence of an unusually high SMR of 336 for benign and unspecified neoplasms could not be clarified. Most of the excess from other specific causes of death, such as stomach cancer, pancreatic cancer, and alcoholism, appear to be unrelated to the rock-wool production since they occurred either among workers employed for very short periods (less than one year) or as frequently among workers in the reference cohort.