Department of Epidemiology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, 1981:96 pages
A proportional mortality risk study was conducted on 292 deceased white male members of the Texas City local of the Oil, Chemical, and Atomic Workers Union. Most union members worked at one of two petrochemical refineries. Mortality data was obtained from company records and death certificates beginning with records from 1947. Risk data was calculated for lymphosarcoma and reticulosarcoma, leukemia and aleukemia, and liver, pancreas, lung, skin, prostate, kidney, and brain cancer. Expected risk for these causes of death was determined from records for white males in the general population. Risk was also calculated for respiratory, circulatory, and digestive system diseases, and for accidents. An overall deficit in mortality from respiratory disease and an overall excess of skin and kidney cancer were observed among union members. An additional risk of liver cancer occurred in the larger refinery employing union workers. Analysis of employees in the smaller refinery revealed an elevated risk only from lymphosarcoma and reticulosarcoma. An excess of risk for accidents was accounted for by an explosion that occurred on a ship in 1947. No other significant results were reported. Elevated risks for liver, kidney, and skin cancers, and lymphosarcoma and reticulosarcoma were mostly confined to union members employed by the two refineries represented in this study. The author recommends that increased attention be given to these diseases in designing epidemiological studies of the petrochemical industry.
Department of Epidemiology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, 96 pages, 71 references