Vermont granite workers' mortality study.
Am J Ind Med 1988 Apr; 13(4):483-497
A cohort mortality study on persons who were employed in either granite manufacturing facilities or quarries in Vermont during the period from 1950 to 1982 was conducted to determine the effects of exposure to granite dust. Death certificates, hospital records, and chest x-rays taken during surveys were reviewed. The cohort included 5,414 granite workers; death certificates were obtained for 1,527. Cause specific standardized mortality ratios were determined. There did not appear to be an increased mortality relating to respiratory cancer or malignant neoplasms, nor was there an increased number of emphysema related deaths. When the group of workers was divided into those who were shed workers and those who were quarry workers, some differences in mortality statistics emerged. Silicosis took many more lives among the shed workers than quarry workers. The death rate due to tuberculosis, higher in both groups, was much higher among the shed workers. The occurrence of cancer of the respiratory system and all cancers of the lung was significantly increased among shed workers, yet these conditions were at the level expected in the quarry workers. The time at which the workers began their jobs was particularly important. Workers hired prior to the time more rigid dust control regulations were passed were exposed to far higher concentrations of dust than those hired after the new efforts to control dust levels went into effect. The findings of disease in those earlier workers confirmed the relationship of the dust exposure to the disease. These findings also supported the effectiveness of the control measures adopted for eliminating the dust hazard in this industry. The important of cigarette smoking in the etiology of the disease was briefly noted.
NIOSH-Author; Dust-inhalation; Pulmonary-system-disorders; Mine-workers; Quarry-workers; Quarries; Airborne-particles; Respiratory-irritants; Inhalants; Pulmonary-function;
Author Keywords: granite workers; mortality; silicosis; tuberculosis; dust controls; lung cancer
Joseph Costello, NIOSH, Room 224, 944 Chestnut Ridge Road, Morgantown, WV 26505
American Journal of Industrial Medicine