Original article

Scand J Work Environ Health 1982;8(4):250-259    pdf

https://doi.org/10.5271/sjweh.2469 | Issue date: Dec 1982

Environmental epidemiologic investigation of the styrene-butadiene rubber industry. Mortality patterns with discussion of the hematopoietic and lymphatic malignancies.

by Meinhardt TJ, Lemen RA, Crandall MS, Young RJ

A retrospective cohort mortality study and an industrial hygiene assessment were undertaken in two styrene-butadiene rubber producing facilities in eastern Texas. Occupational history records were available from 1943 at plant A and from 1950 at plant B to the study cut-off date of 31 March 1976. With a two-sided test statistic, no statistically significant excesses in total or cause-specific mortality were observed for the overall worker population of either plant. However, the plant A study group demonstrated a nonsignificant statistical excess [standardized mortality ratio (SMR) of 203] for the cause-specific category of leukemia and aleukemia. Additional analyses were performed on a subgroup consisting of all white males with at least six months of employment at plant A between the beginning of 1943 and the end of 1945, a time which coincided with process and operational changes. An SMR of 278, also not statistically significant, was demonstrated for the leukemia and aleukemia cause-specific category. Due to the relative modest study population sizes, the power of this study to detect statistically significant excesses in leukemias or other malignancies of the hematopoietic and lymphatic tissues is not very large unless one is interested in substantial excesses, such as those that would correspond to a fourfold increase in risk.