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Mortality among retired fur workers. Dyers, dressers (tanners) and service workers.

Sweeney MH; Walrath J; Waxweiler RJ
Scand J Work Environ Health 1985 Aug; 11(4):257-264
The relationship between mortality and exposure to oxidative dyes was investigated in retired workers from the fur industry (SIC- 2371). All pensioned members of the Joint Board of the Fur, Leather and Machine Workers Union located in New York City were included in the study. Vital statistics for each retiree were obtained from union pension applications and from the records of various government agencies. Non white male retirees and female retirees were excluded from the study because of the small number of deaths. The final group studied included 807 white male fur workers of whom 432 were dyers, 168 were fur dressers, and 207 were fur service workers. Cause of death of individuals known to be deceased was obtained from death certificates. Mortality trends were examined by ethnicity as determined by birthplace; 69 percent of the group studied was foreign born. Total mortality among fur dyers was about 20 percent less than expected. This reduction was due to decreased risk of death from almost all causes. Increases in mortality due to stomach, lung, and colorectal cancer were not statistically significant. For fur dressers, the slightly elevated total mortality and the significantly increased risk of death from all cancers were a reflection of the significantly increased risk of lung cancer. Fur service workers experienced an overall mortality slightly higher than expected due to a significantly increased risk of death, about 50 percent higher than expected. Ethnic factors contributed more than occupational factors to the increased risk of colon rectal cancer in all fur worker categories. The authors conclude that exposure of fur dyers to oxidative dyes does not significantly increase their mortality.
NIOSH-Author; Mortality-data; Occupational-hazards; Safety-education; Industrial-environment; Industrial-exposures; Occupational-exposure; Safety-monitoring; Author Keywords: Cardiovascular disease; dyes; ethnic groups; leather tanning; lung cancer; occupational exposures; retrospective study
MsMHSweeney, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Robert A Taft Laboratories, 4676 Columbia Parkway, Cincinnati, OH 45226, USA
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Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment & Health
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division