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Mortality of U.S. embalmers and funeral directors.
Hayes RB; Blair A; Stewart PA; Herrick RF; Mahar H
Am J Ind Med 1990 Dec; 18(6):641-652
A large series of deceased embalmers and funeral directors was assembled from multiple sources throughout the United States which should allow an examination of the risk for specific cell types of leukemia and other lymphatic and hematopoietic system malignancies and allow assessment of potential subgroups at risk. After duplicates were removed, 6,651 potential study subjects were identified, of which death certificates were obtained for 5,265. Nonsignificant excesses were found for malignancies of the buccal cavity and pharynx and for nasopharyngeal cancer. No sinonasal cancers were noted but 1.7 were expected. A statistically significant excess of colon cancer was noted and a nonsignificant excess of brain and other central nervous system cancer was observed among whites only. Both whites and nonwhites exhibited significant excesses of malignancies of the lymphatic and hematopoietic systems. Myeloid leukemia and leukemia of other and unspecified cell types was in excess. No excess of lymphatic leukemia was observed. NonHodgkin's lymphoma, polycythemia vera, and myelofibrosis each showed elevated incidences. A marked excess of multiple myeloma was noted in nonwhites. In whites and nonwhites an excess of chronic nephritis was observed. No excess of liver cirrhosis was observed. There was no direct relation between the occurrence of lymphatic and hematopoietic system diseases and the specific job held in the funeral industry.
NIOSH-Author; Epidemiology; Risk-factors; Cancer-rates; Mortality-surveys; Leukemogenesis; Nervous-system-disorders; Formaldehydes; Preservatives; Racial-factors; Author Keywords: epidemiology; neoplasm; embalmer; formaldehyde; CNS cancer; leukemia; occupational mortality
Issue of Publication
American Journal of Industrial Medicine
Page last reviewed: September 11, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division