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Mortality of lead smelter workers.
Selevan SG; Landrigan PJ; Stern FB; Jones JH
Am J Epidemiol 1985 Oct; 122(4):673-683
Mortality was studied in workers at a large lead (7439921) concentrator and smelter. All white male workers employed between 1940 and 1965 at a smelter in Idaho were studied. Vital status was determined from state and federal records as well as company data. A modified life table program developed by NIOSH was used to analyze mortality of the cohort. Standardized mortality ratios (SMRs) were computed for each cause of death through comparison with national averages for the white male population. Duration of employment was noted for all subjects. Overall mortality was similar to that of the national population. Excess mortality was observed for chronic renal disease, with an SMR of 192. The risk of death from renal disease increased with increasing years of exposure to lead. There was excess mortality for other non malignant respiratory diseases. Silicosis was the cause of 8 of 32 deaths in this category. There were 11 deaths from tuberculosis with silicosis a contributing factor in 6. Mortality from cerebrovascular disease was not elevated. Mortality from diseases of the circulatory system was lower than expected, with an SMR of 78. Overall mortality from cancer was not elevated, but elevated deaths were observed for cancer of the kidney, with an SMR of 204. There was an excess of deaths due of injury in this cohort, at an SMR of 138. The authors conclude that there is increased risk of mortality from chronic renal disease in persons occupationally exposed to lead.
NIOSH-Author; Industrial-chemicals; Exposure-limits; Toxicology; Airborne-particles; Exposure-levels; Health-standards; Lung-lesions; Toxic-effects; Lung-irritants; Occupational-exposure; Author Keywords: kidney neoplasms; lead; nephritis; nephrosis; silicosis
Dr. Sherry G. Selevan, Office of Research and Development, US Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC 20460
Issue of Publication
American Journal of Epidemiology
OH; DC; ID
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division