Original article

Scand J Work Environ Health 1985;11(4):249-255    pdf

doi:10.5271/sjweh.2223

The mortality of boot and shoe makers, with special reference to cancer.

by Pippard EC, Acheson ED

The study describes the mortality of 5 017 men known to have been employed in the boot and shoe manufacturing industry in three towns in Great Britain in 1939. At the end of 1982, 97.5% of the men were traced, and 3 434 (68.4%) were known to be dead. Expected numbers were calculated according to the person-years method and were adjusted according to the standardized mortality ratios of the counties in which the towns were situated. The mortality experience of the men for all causes, all cancers combined, and all other causes was favorable. The anticipated excess of deaths from nasal cancer (10 observed, 1.87 expected) was found, and the excess was significant for workers in the finishing room. Deficits were found for other types of respiratory cancer. An excess mortality from leukemia was found for workers in one town (7 observed, 3.0 expected), and the excess was significant for workers in the lasting and making room, where glues and solvents, including benzene, were known to have been used. An excess mortality from rectal cancer was found for workers in two towns (61 observed, 47.6 expected), and it was significant for workers in the lasting and making rooms (25 observed, 12.4 expected). Some supporting evidence for a risk of rectal cancer in this industry was found in the literature.