The mortality experience of New York City newspaper pressmen, 1950-1976.
Nicholson WJ; Seidman H; Hoos D; Selikoff IJ
NIOSH 1982 Apr; :216-241
Newspaper pressmen in New York City were identified for inclusion in a mortality study of such workers. The 1,769 pressmen were all active or retired journeymen members of Local 2 of the International Printing Pressmen and Assistants Union in the city as of January 1, 1950. An excess of mortality was found with 1232 deaths occurring whereas 1102 had been expected between 1950 and 1976. Causes of death which were greater than expected included an 18 percent excess incidence of cancer; 2.49 times more noninfectious respiratory disease deaths than expected, and a 5 percent increase over the expected incidence for cardiovascular disease. Of the cancers, the greatest increases were for bronchogenic carcinoma and cancer of the pharynx and buccal cavity. There were fewer deaths caused by cancer of the gastrointestinal tract than had been expected. The primary causes among the excess of noninfectious respiratory diseases included emphysema, 24 cases and 13 cases of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Chronic bronchitis was noted in one case, asthma in four, unspecified fibrosis in two, and cor pulmonale in three cases. The higher mortality resulting from cancer of the buccal cavity and pharynx may be linked to ink mist exposure. An elevated risk for leukemia was also identified which may be tied to the past uses of benzene (71432) for cleaning purposes or as a solvent in gravure processes. Examination was made of the possibility that cigarette smoking contributed significantly to the findings but the evidence did not allow this conclusion.
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