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Cancer mortality patterns among female and male workers employed in a cable manufacturing plant during World War II.
Ward EM; Ruder AM; Suruda A; Smith AB; Halperin W; Fessler CA; Zahm SH
J Occup Med 1994 Aug; 36(8):860-866
A cohort mortality study of cancer incidence was conducted among 9,028 workers who had been potentially exposed to chlorinated naphthalenes and asbestos (1332214) while involved in the manufacture of cable for use in naval vessels during the second World War. Standardized mortality ratios for all cancers in this cohort were 1.03 in women and 1.18 in men. No significant elevations were noted in causes of death from cancers thought to be associated with exposure to chlorinated naphthalenes. There were nonsignificant increases in malignant neoplasms of liver, kidney, bladder, and connective tissue, with the neoplasms of the connective tissue appearing in workers who had over 1 year of exposure and 25 years of latency. There were three cancer sites which showed a greater than expected incidence among both genders: stomach; rectum; and trachea, bronchus and lung. The authors note that it was difficult to draw conclusions about carcinogenicity of chlorinated naphthalenes due to study limitations including concomitant asbestos exposure, the relatively short duration of exposure to chlorinated naphthalenes among most of the cohort, and failure of the study to control for smoking. The authors conclude that the study may suggest an association between chlorinated naphthalenes and soft tissue sarcoma but does not conclusively demonstrate it.
NIOSH-Author; Chlorinated-hydrocarbons; Aromatic-hydrocarbons; Epidemiology; Organic-solvents; Mortality-surveys; Chemical-structure; Cancer-rates; Risk-factors; Lung-cancer
Issue of Publication
Journal of Occupational Medicine
Page last reviewed: October 5, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division