Original article

Scand J Work Environ Health 1986;12 suppl 1:78-84    pdf

Mortality and cancer incidence in the man-made mineral fiber industry in Sweden.

by Westerholm P, Bolander AM

This report gives an account of the Swedish contribution to the joint European epidemiologic study on production workers in the man-made mineral fiber (MMMF) industry. The information sources utilized and the follow-up procedure, making extensive use of record-linkage operations extracting data from computerized data banks, are described in some detail. The follow-up with regard to vital status, deaths and causes of death, diagnosed cancers, and emigration could essentially be based on such techniques. The problems of tracing immigrant and emigrant subpopulations are given particular attention. The exposed Swedish cohort consisted of 3,600 persons giving 61,690 person-years of observation. A total of 524 deaths was observed in the cohort, 230 cohort members had emigrated during the period of observation (147 of whom could be traced to other Nordic countries), and 62 other persons were lost to follow-up. It was observed that most of the persons contracting lung cancer in the Swedish cohort had been exposed during relatively short periods of time, ie, during one to four years of employment. This finding applied to both the rock-wool and glass-wool industry. The authors point out that the observed excess risk in lung cancer deaths may also have other explanations than occupational exposure to MMMF.