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Mortality Study of Dry Cleaner Workers Exposed to Perchloroethylene.
NIOSH 1982 Apr:254-285
As part of an epidemiological study of possible latent effects arising from the long term exposure of employees to perchloroethylene (127184) (PCE), 1597 workers in the dry cleaning business prior to 1960 where PCE was the primary solvent were formed into a study cohort. Employee records were available through four large unions. No member of the study cohort was retained if there was prior exposure to another dry cleaning solvent. Industrial hygiene surveys were conducted by NIOSH at the dry cleaning establishments currently using PCE. The results indicated that most workers were experiencing PCE exposures below 20 parts per million (ppm) and many were below 5ppm. Mortality data indicated a significant deficit in death rates from accidents and deaths due to circulatory disease before adjustments were made for unknown deaths. Examining only cancer mortality revealed an 82 percent greater incidence of cancer of the intestine, except rectum, than had been expected, for a total of 11 deaths, all of which were from colon cancer. None of these colon cancer deaths occurred prior to 15 years after the first documented exposure to PCE had occurred and the increase peaked at 20 to 25 years. An increased risk for pancreatic cancer was also identified with a latency of 20 years.
NIOSH-Author; Epidemiology; Cancer-rates; Risk-analysis; Dry-cleaning-solvents; Dry-cleaning-industry; Organic-solvents; Gastrointestinal-system-disorders; Chlorinated-hydrocarbons;
Proceedings of the Second NCI/EPA/NIOSH Collaborative Workshop: Progress on Joint Environmental and Occupational Cancer Studies, September 9-11, 1981, Rockville, Maryland
Page last reviewed: May 5, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division