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Mortality and Industrial Hygiene Study of Workers Exposed to Polychlorinated Biphenyls.

Brown-DP; Jones-M
NIOSH 1980 May:140-172
An epidemiologic study of the long term health effects of occupational exposure to polychlorinated-biphenyls (1336363) (PCBs) was conducted. Two study cohorts included 2567 persons who had worked for at least 3 months between 1940 and 1976 in two factories where electrical capacitors were manufactured in areas where there was a potential for exposure to PCBs. The vital status of over 97 percent of the two cohorts was determined as of January 1, 1976, and the number of observed and expected deaths by cause were compared. Industrial hygiene surveys also were conducted in both facilities at the time of the study. Personal and area air samples were obtained and analyzed for PCBs, trichloroethylene (79016), lead (7439921), tin (7440315), and zinc (7440666). Mortality from all causes and from all cancers was lower than expected in both facilities. An excess of rectal and liver cancers occurred, but the increase was not statistically significant. Mortality due to cirrhosis of the liver was elevated in one factory. Mortality from these causes did not increase as length of PCB exposure increased. Time weighted average personal air samples showed PCB concentrations ranging from 24 to 393 micrograms per cubic meter (micrograms/CuM) PCB in one factory and 170 to 1260micrograms/CuM in the other. PCB concentrations in area air samples ranged from 3 to 476micrograms/CuM in the first factory and from 50 to 810micrograms/CuM in the second. Exposures to other substances generally were below OSHA standards. The authors conclude that occupational exposure to PCBs may cause an excess of death from liver cancer and cirrhosis of the liver.
Polychlorinated-biphenyls; Health-surveys; Mortality-rates; Liver-disorders; Carcinogenesis; Epidemiology; Air-sampling; Cancer-rates;
1336-36-3; 79-01-6; 7439-92-1; 7440-31-5; 7440-66-6;
Publication Date
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Conference/Symposia Proceedings;
Fiscal Year
NTIS Accession No.
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Proceedings of the First NCI/EPA/NIOSH Collaborative Workshop: Progress on Joint Environmental and Occupational Cancer Studies, May 6-8, 1980, Rockville, Maryland, H. F. Kraybill, I. C. Blackwood, and N. B. Freas, Eds. National Cancer Institute, Environmental Protection Agency, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health