Original article

Scand J Work Environ Health 1986;12(6):545-551    pdf

doi:10.5271/sjweh.2102 | Issue date: Dec 1986

Mortality and cancer morbidity among workers in a chemical factory.

by Hagmar L, Bellander T, Englander V, Ranstam J, Attewell R, Skerfving S

A retrospective cohort study was performed on a group of 664 male workers employed for at least one month during the period 1942-1979 in a chemical factory. Both established and suspected carcinogens had been handled in the plant, primarily piperazine, but also urethane, ethylene oxide, formaldehyde, and organic solvents. A significantly increased mortality, compared with the regional death rate, was observed in the cohort. The increase was mainly due to violent deaths and cardiovascular diseases. No rise in death rates was observed for asthma, bronchitis or emphysema, in spite of other evidence of a high risk of occupational asthma, due to exposure to piperazine. A statistically significant increase in cancer morbidity was observed for malignant lymphoma/myelomatosis when an induction latency time of at least 10 years was used. Furthermore, an increase in bronchial cancer was noted, but it was statistically significant only when an induction-latency time of at least 15 years was used. A case-referent study within the cohort did not reveal any significant association between any specific chemical exposure and cancer morbidity.