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Retrospective cohort mortality study of dry cleaner workers using perchloroethylene.
J Occup Med 1987 Jun; 29(6):535-541
A total of 44 commercial dry cleaning shops (SIC-7216) were surveyed concerning workers exposed to perchloroethylene (127184) (PCE) for a period of at least 1 year with no previous occupational exposure to carbon-tetrachloride or trichloroethylene. The total number of workers evaluated was 1,690 for the years 1977 to 1979 with a 93 percent followup in 1982 for mortality analysis. The subcohort of workers employed in shops where PCE was the primary solvent totaled 615. The number of deaths related to neoplasms was higher than expected, 142 compared to 122.9 expected. No deaths from liver cancer were noted, with 3.5 expected. Only urinary tract cancer deaths were significantly increased over expected values (standardized mortality ratio 255). Both bladder and kidney cancer were elevated, but only bladder cancer was significantly increased (eight observed compared to 2.7 expected). The increased risk for bladder cancer mortality occurred after 20 years of latency, similar to findings in other studies. In workers exposed only to PCE there was no increased risk for urinary tract cancer. The authors suggest that there may be a confounding effect of mixed exposure to petroleum solvents and PCE. Cancer of the cervix uteri was elevated, and cancer of the breast was decreased. Mortality from accidents was significantly lower than expected. It is suggested that socioeconomic status may be related to these lower rates.
JOCMA7; NIOSH-Author; Dry-cleaning-solvents; Chlorinated-hydrocarbons; Ethylenes; Cleaning-compounds; Risk-analysis; Bladder-disease; Organic-solvents; Cancer-rates; Occupational-exposure; Nephrological-disorders
Issue of Publication
Journal of Occupational Medicine
Page last reviewed: April 12, 2019
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division