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NIOSH testimony on cancer at DuPont Plant in Belle, West Virginia by J. F. Finklea, September 20, 1976.

Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 1976 Sep; :1-6
This testimony concerned the NIOSH inquiry into cancer deaths among employees at the DuPont facility in Belle, West Virginia. NIOSH had been notified of the cases by the Safety Chairman of the facility's Association of Chemical Employees, an independent union of 40 technicians. Of 55 workers at the site who were sick or had died of cancer, five involved cases of eye cancer. An on site visit was made in May and June, and recommendations were made for improving the ventilation system. An additional visit was to be made in July to assess the adequacy of records to perform an epidemiologic study. At this time the records pertaining to the eye cancer victims were also to be reviewed. However, as DuPont was conducting its own study due to the number of eye cancer cases, and offered to share its findings with NIOSH, the decision was made to wait on these findings. The DuPont study, in spite of shortcomings, indicated an excess of eye and kidney cancer cases and some possible concern was also generated over the number of lung cancer cases. Based on these findings and the admitted shortcomings of the DuPont work, a NIOSH investigation should be made to provide environmental monitoring of hazardous chemicals, evaluation of mutagenic effects of chemical exposures, verification of the list of cancer victims provided by the Safety Chairman, a review of all workers at the site including terminated employees, and the acquisition and evaluation of pathologic tissue for all reported cancers.
NIOSH-Author; NIOSH-Testimony; Finklea-J-F; Chemical-industry-workers; Chemical-manufacturing-industry; Epidemiology; Eye-diseases; Kidney-damage; Lung-cancer; Cancer-rates
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National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division