Original article

Scand J Work Environ Health 1991;17(5):356-359    pdf

doi:10.5271/sjweh.1692

Cancer incidence among pulp and paper workers exposed to organic chlorinated compounds formed during chlorine pulp bleaching.

by Jappinen P, Pukkala E

The risk of cancer of 152 male workers exposed to organic chlorine compounds formed during chlorine pulp bleaching was assessed in a retrospective cohort study. The men had worked continuously for at least one year in selected job categories between 1 January 1945 and 31 December 1961. The cohort was followed for death and cancer incidence until 31 December 1987 with the use of the data of the National Population Register and the Finnish Cancer Registry. There were 12 observed cancers against 8.1 expected [standardized incidence ratio (SIR) 1.5, 95% confidence interval (95% CI) 0.8-2.6]. Among the stock preparation workers (N = 53), a significantly elevated risk of lung cancer was found (6 observed, 1.0 expected, SIR 6.3, 95% CI 2.3-14) that was especially prominent after a latency (time since first employment) of at least 15 years and in the age group of 35 to 59 years. Although all of the cases involved smokers, a part of the increased incidence may be associated with the workplace exposure to organic chlorinated compounds.