Scand J Work Environ Health 1978;4 suppl 2:247-252    pdf | Issue date: 1978

Mortality experience of styrene-polystyrene polymerization workers. Initial findings.

by Nicholson WJ, Selikoff IJ, Seidman H

A group of 560 individuals has been identified as employed on 1 May 1960 with at least five years seniority in a plant manufacturing styrene and polystyrene. In this plant workplace exposures included styrene, benzene and ethylbenzene, among other materials. All of the 560 individuals have been traced through 1975 and their vital status determined. Expected and observed deaths, by cause, were determined from 1 May 1960 or the tenth anniversary of employment in the plant through 31 December 1975. Over this relatively short period of time a deficit of deaths compared to that of the general population was observed (106.41 expected versus 83 observed). Among the 83 deaths, one was of leukemia, one of lymphoma and an additional death was accompanied by leukemia. A review of 361 additional death certificates revealed five additional cases of leukemia and four of lymphoma. The available information from the limited follow-up in time of the time of the cohort and from the randomly collected death certificates, while suggestive of a possible risk, is not definitive.