NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search

Mortality Patterns among Miners and Millers of Non-Asbestiform Talc.

Selevan SG; Dement JM; Wagoner JK; Froines JR
NIOSH 1977 Dec:34 pages
A study of mortality in miners and millers of nonasbestiform talc (14807966) was conducted. The cohort consisted of 225 white male millers and 163 miners who were employed in the Vermont talc industry for at least 1 year, from 1940 through 1969. Vital status of the cohort as of December 31, 1975, was determined utilizing records maintained by federal, state, and local agencies. The white male population of Vermont and the U.S. were used as the reference populations. The most recent chest x-ray taken for the Vermont Health Department annual surveys was obtained for workers who died of nonmalignant respiratory disease and read for pneumoconiosis. Ninety deaths occurred in the millers and miners. The only statistically significant excess of mortality in the total cohort was from nonmalignant respiratory disease, 11 deaths versus 1.79 expected. This was mainly due to a significant excess of deaths in the millers, 7 versus 0.89 expected. Eight workers had x-ray evidence of pneumoconiosis. A significant excess of respiratory cancer mortality occurred in the miners, 5 deaths versus 1.15 expected. No other significant excesses of cause specific mortality occurred. The concentration of free silica in bulk talc samples was generally below 0.25 percent. Free silica was detected only occasionally in airborne dust. The authors conclude that the excess mortality from nonmalignant respiratory disease observed in talc millers is attributable to talc exposure. The excess lung cancer mortality observed in the miners, but not the millers, suggests that etiologic factors other than talc dust may be operative, especially since millers have higher dust exposures.
NIOSH-Author; Epidemiology; Mortality-rates; Mining-industry; Dust-exposure; Risk-analysis; Pulmonary-system-disorders; Lung-cancer; X-ray-analysis;
Publication Date
Fiscal Year
NIOSH Division
Priority Area
Asthma and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease; Disease and Injury; Pulmonary-system-disorders;
Source Name
Industry-wide Studies Branch, Division of Surveillance, Hazard, Evaluations and Field Studies, NIOSH, 34 pages, 26 references
Page last reviewed: May 11, 2023
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division