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An Investigation of Brain and Lymphopoietic Cancer at a Union Carbide Plant in Seadrift, Texas.

Reeve GR; Waxweiler RJ; Leffingwell SS
NIOSH 1983 Sep:29 pages
A possible excess of brain and lymphopoietic cancer mortality occurring among employees of a petrochemical facility in Texas was investigated. One brain cancer death and a possible cluster of five lymphopoietic cancer deaths had been reported at the facility. The facility was a diversified chemical production site. No brain or lymphopoietic cancer deaths were identified other than those initially reported. The results of a proportionate mortality study and a preliminary sample based cohort mortality study suggested that there were excesses in the number of lymphopoietic cancer deaths among this employee population. For lymphopoietic cancer the proportionate mortality ratio was 666 and the preliminary estimate of the standardized mortality ratio was 291. A case/control study of facility employees indicated that there was evidence of an association between lymphopoietic cancer mortality, particularly Hodgkin's disease, and the assignment of the worker to areas in the facility where low density polyethylene was produced. The low density polyethylene production was started in 1954. However, any conclusion that the excess of lymphopoietic deaths may have been to employment in this area of the facility was weakened by the long term employment of one case at a different chemical facility, the limited number of cases and the calendar distribution of the Hodgkin's Disease deaths.
NIOSH-Author; Chemical-manufacturing-industry; Chemical-industry-workers; Risk-analysis; Cancer-rates; Carcinogens; Lymphatic-cancer; Brain-tumors; Epidemiology;
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NIOSH, 29 pages, 12 references
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division