A case-control study of mesothelioma and employment in the Hawaii sugarcane industry.
Sinks T; Goodman MT; Kolonel LN; Anderson B
Epidemiology 1994 Jul; 5(4):466-468
The possibility that mesothelioma might be associated with exposure to biogenic silica (7631869) fibers was investigated among workers in the Hawaiian sugarcane industry (SIC-0133). Employment in the sugarcane industry was established according to three sources: death certificates, the 1942 to 1943 Hawaii population census, and the 1961 to 1988 lists of active and retired members of the International Longshoremen's and Warehousemen's Union. A case control study was conducted of Hawaii residents who developed mesothelioma from 1960 through 1987 and were subsequently listed in the Hawaii Tumor Registry. A total of 93 Hawaii residents were identified with mesothelioma. Death certificates were obtained for 85 of the 88 deceased. Exposure to biogenic silica fibers, as determined by employment in the sugarcane industry, did not appear to be an important risk factor for mesothelioma. An exceptionally high risk of mesothelioma was associated with work at the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard, probably due to asbestos (1332214) exposure. The risk of mesothelioma was increased among persons who worked in the construction industry, machinery, or transportation industry. The authors suggest these increases are due to asbestos exposure and not to any possible biogenic silica fiber exposure. Six cases had worked in the medical field. The authors conclude that biogenic silica fibers did not appear to present an important risk factor for mesothelioma, but they add that they did not collect detailed employment histories for all cases and controls.
NIOSH-Author; Epidemiology; Risk-factors; Sugar-industry; Construction-workers; Transportation-workers; Asbestos-fibers; Lung-cancer; Respiratory-system-disorders; Cancer-rates; Carcinogens; Silica-dusts;
Author Keywords: Sugarcane Growing; mesothelioma; biogenic silica fibers; sugarcane workers; case-control study; asbestos