Notification of workers about an excess of malignant melanoma: a case study.
Am J Ind Med 1993 Jan; 23(1):85-91
A study was undertaken of the mortality experience of 3588 male and female workers at the Westinghouse Electric Corporation located in Bloomington, Indiana from 1957 to 1977. There was possible exposure to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). The mortality was less than had been expected; however, there was an excess in the number of deaths resulting from brain cancer and from malignant melanomas. Investigators were not able to demonstrate statistically significant relations between excess mortality and PCB exposure. A notification letter was mailed to 3189 individuals. Anecdotal information provided by some cohort members indicated that the potential for both dermal and airborne PCB exposure during capacitor manufacture was great. The authors conclude that the decision to communicate risk information to members of a cohort should be handled separately from, and after completion of review of the scientific merits of the study. The vital status of the cohort should be updated as close to the notification date as possible.
NIOSH-Author; Epidemiology; Risk-analysis; Carcinogenesis; Cancer-rates; Chlorides; Electronics-industry; Skin-exposure; Inhalants; Occupational-exposure; Skin-cancer
American Journal of Industrial Medicine