A study was conducted to investigate the mortality experience of workers in the painting trades. The first step made was to review the various populations exposed to paints throughout the entire United States. These populations were examined based on the volume of paint used, the danger of the paint substances used in the various industrial settings, the number of individuals exposed, and the types of conditions under which these exposures took place. A walk through study was performed in 50 industrial locations where painting, or paint products and materials were used. This included visits to airplane and automobile manufacturing facilities. Finally the study was narrowed to members of a painters union working in Missouri, New York, California, or Texas. In comparing mortality data from this population with cohort groups it was determined that cancers of the stomach, large intestine, liver, lung, bladder, and kidney and leukemia were more common among the painters than would have been anticipated. A further examination was made of the incidence of lung cancer among painters. For painters who used no mask the risk was five times higher than those who wore masks while they worked. A three fold increase in risk level was noted for those also exposed to asbestos (1332214). The consumption of beer increased the risk for lung cancer among painters. The risk was increased four times for those who also worked with spackling compound.
Proceedings of the Fourth NCI/EPA/NIOSH Collaborative Workshop: Progress on Joint Environmental and Occupational Cancer Studies, April 22-23, 1986, Rockville, Maryland, NIH Publication No. 88-2960