NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search

Causes of death among workers in a bearing manufacturing plant.

Park RM; Wegman DH; Silverstein MA; Maizlish NA; Mirer FE
Am J Ind Med 1988 May; 13(5):569-580
A study of mortality in workers in a ball bearing manufacturing factory (SIC-3562) was conducted. The study originated out of union concern over lung cancer resulting from exposure to cutting fluids. The cohort consisted of 702 hourly employees at a ball bearing factory in New Britain, Connecticut, with 10 or more years' service who died between January 1, 1969 and January 31, 1982. Death certificates were reviewed. Job histories were constructed from death benefit and pension files of the company and local union. The data were analyzed in terms of exposure to straight oil cutting fluids (comprehensive or restricted primarily to machining and grinding), water based cutting fluids (comprehensive or restricted only to machining and grinding), inorganic dusts, and other physical factors. Standardized proportional mortality analyses were performed for 565 white male and 116 white female deaths. Proportional mortality for stomach cancer and rectal cancer was significantly elevated in white males. Proportional mortality for stomach cancer was nonsignificantly elevated in white females. Males involved in grinding operations contributed the excess mortality from stomach cancer. Nonsignificant excesses in deaths from lung cancer occurred in both males and females. Three of four cases of death from malignant mesothelioma occurred in males in grinding or machining operations. Mortality from mental, psychoneurotic, and personality disorders and stroke was also significantly elevated. Applying the principles of case/control analysis showed that the deaths from stomach cancer were significantly associated with grinding and using water based cutting fluids. Lung cancer in white males was nonsignificantly associated with employment in forge and heat treatment jobs. Lung cancer in white females was significantly associated with grinding. The authors conclude that a significant increase in mortality from stomach cancer is present in the study population. The increase is associated with precision grinding done primarily with water based cutting oils.
NIOSH-Publication; NIOSH-Contract; Contract-210-81-5104; Epidemiology; Industrial-factory-workers; Mortality-rates; Lung-cancer; Stomach-cancer; Risk-analysis; Risk-factors; Cutting-oils; Mortality-surveys; Occupational-exposure; Author Keywords: abrasives; cutting fluids; forging; grinding; lung cancer; machining fluids; stomach cancer
Robert Park, UAW Health and Safety Department. 8000 East Jefferson Avenue, Detroit, MI 48214
Publication Date
Document Type
Journal Article
Funding Type
Fiscal Year
Identifying No.
Issue of Publication
SIC Code
Source Name
American Journal of Industrial Medicine
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division