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Mortality of carpenters' union members employed in the U.S. construction or wood products industries, 1987-1990.

Robinson-CF; Petersen-M; Sieber-WK; Palu-S; Halperin-WE
Am J Ind Med 1996 Dec; 30(6):674-694
The purpose of this proportionate mortality ratio (PMR) study was to identify and evaluate work related excesses of mortality and injuries among carpenters. The study group consisted of 27,362 deceased members of the U. S. United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America who died between 1987 to 1990. Information was obtained from death certificates. The exposures of carpenters who worked in the construction industry were characterized separately from those who worked in wood products industries. The largest number of deaths occurred in the oldest age group of benefit eligible carpenters, ages 70 to 74. The number of white male deaths by skill classifications was 22,758 for construction carpenters, and 2,770 men in wood machining locals. Significantly raised PMRs were found in all carpenters for cancers of the esophagus, stomach, thyroid, prostate, bone and lungs; mesothelioma; multiple myeloma; cardiomyopathy; asbestosis; and transportation injuries. When proportionate cancer mortality ratio (PCMR) analysis was conducted, only cancer of the lungs and stomach remained elevated. For 118 female carpenters, only cancer of the brain was significantly elevated. Carpenters who were last employed in the construction industry had 15 elevated PMRs, but only the PCMRs for lung and bone cancer were significantly elevated. Carpenters last employed in wood product industries had five elevated PMRs, but only the PCMRs for stomach and male breast cancer were significantly elevated. In carpenters employed in wood machining trades, the PCMR for stomach cancer was significantly elevated. Mesothelioma caused a total of 121 deaths in carpenters. The authors conclude that construction carpentry is an extremely hazardous trade, and that the observed elevated mortality rates for stomach, bone, and breast cancers require further evaluation for occupational factors.
NIOSH-Author; Woodworking-industry; Construction-industry; Occupational-hazards; Cancer-rates; Humans; Mortality-data; Mortality-rates; Woodworkers
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American Journal of Industrial Medicine