The study was conducted to evaluate the mortality of 27,362 members who died 1987-1990 of the U.S. Carpenters' Union for preventable causes associated with occupational exposures in the construction or wood products industries. Age- adjusted proportionate mortality ratios (PMRs) and proportionate cancer mortality ratios (PCMRs) were computed using the U.S. age, gender and race specific death rates for comparison. For carpenters who were last employed while in construction industry locals, raised mortality was restricted to lung cancer (PCMR=1O7, N=2327, CI=1O3,1l1), bone cancer (PCMR=181, N=18, CI=1O7,286), lymphatic cancer (PCMR=1l2, N=326, CI=101,125), emphysema (PMR=ll5, N=274, CI=1O2,130), transportation injuries (PMR=121, N=330, CI=1O9,135), and falls (PMR=122, N=158, CI= I 04, 142). For carpenters who were last employed while in industrial wood products locals, significantly raised mortality was confined to stomach cancer (PCMR=187, N=44, CI=136,250), male breast cancer (PCMR=469, N=4, CI=128,nO), and transportation injuries (PMR=136, N=65, CI=1l0,173). Excess breast cancer was associated with last employment in wood machining trades. Nasal cancer mortality was not elevated, due to its high survival rate. 24 pleural mesotheliomas were observed among carpenters last employed in construction locals. Multiple cause of death analyses revealed raised mortality for these and additional causes. 4594 of 27,362 (18%) death certificates mentioned pneumoconioses as a contributing factor. Limitations prevent drawing firm conclusions, but raised mortality from lung and lymphatic cancer, mesothelioma, and injuries among U.S. construction carpenters confirm known hazards of construction.
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, DSHEFS, 4676 Columbia Parkway, Cincinnati, OH 45226
American Journal of Epidemiology. Abstracts of the 28th Annual Meeting of the Society for Epidemiologic Research, Snowbird, Utah, June 21-24, 1995