Original article

Scand J Work Environ Health 1989;15(6):387-394    pdf

doi:10.5271/sjweh.1834

Incidence of cancer among welders and other workers in a Norwegian shipyard.

by Melkild A, Langard S, Andersen A, Tonnessen JN

The incidence of cancer among 4778 male shipyard workers, including 783 mild steel welders, was investigated in a historical cohort study. The workers had been employed for at least three months between 1 January 1946 and 31 March 1977. The incidence of cancer was observed from 1 January 1953 through 1986. The loss during follow-up was only 0.9%. There were 53 observed cases of lung cancer in the whole cohort versus 31.3 expected on the basis of the national rates for men. There was an increased incidence of lung cancer among the welders, with seven observed cases versus 3.2 expected. Twenty-two cases of bladder cancer were observed versus 15.2 expected. Two malignant mesotheliomas had occurred (0.7 expected). Smoking was likely to be a confounder in the present study. Due to concomitant exposure to asbestos, the results are inconclusive concerning the possible relationship between exposure to welding fumes and lung cancer.