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Cancers in aluminum reduction workers.
The effect of coal tar pitch volatiles on increased cancer mortality among aluminum (7429905) reduction workers is discussed. Significant exposure to coal tar pitch volatiles during the smelting process in pot rooms using the Soderberg process and in carbon (7440440) facilities where pre baked anodes are produced is suspected. Mortality data from three epidemiologic studies is analyzed. One study found a significant increase in deaths due to cancer of the lymphatic and hematopoietic systems. Incidences of respiratory cancer were also elevated. The two other studies found an association between lung cancer mortality and pot room work. In addition adverse dermal, respiratory, and eye effects have been reported. NIOSH recommends that emissions of coal tar pitch volatiles in pot rooms and carbon facilities not exceed the standard of 0.1 milligram per cubic meter. Guidelines for controlling employee exposure using contaminant controls, employee isolation, and personal protective equipment are outlined.
NIOSH-Author; Lung-cancer; Workplace-studies; Trace-metals; Workers; Exposure-levels; Employee-exposure; Mortality-rates; Vapors; Trace-analysis
Page last reviewed: May 5, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division