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Metalworking fluid exposure in the automobile industry: a case-control study of esophageal cancer mortality.

Sullivan PA; Eisen EA; Woskie SR; Kriebel D; Wegman DH
Metalworking Fluids Symposium II, The Industrial Metalworking Environment: Assessment and Control of Metal Removal Fluids. September 15-17, 1997, Detroit, Michigan. DA Felinski, JB D'ARcy, eds. Washington, DC: American Automobile Manufacturers Association, 1998 Sep; :375
Results are reported from a nested case-control study of 60 esophageal cancer deaths among 46,384 hourly employees who worked in automobile manufacturing. Workers were exposed to metalworking fluids (MWF) in machining and grinding operations. Using incidence-density sampling, controls were selected with a sampling ratio of 20:1 from among co-workers who remained at risk at the age of death of the case, matched on year of birth, race, gender, and plant. Conditional logistic regression was used to evaluate the risk associated with cumulative exposure to each of three types of MWF (straight, soluble, and synthetic MWF), as well as with years of exposure to selected components and additives, including nitrosamines, sulfur, biocides, and several metals. Esophageal cancer was found to be significantly associated with exposure to both soluble and synthetic MWF in grinding operations. These associations were observed for both cumulative exposure and duration of exposure, although linear trends were present only for duration. Working with soluble MWF in grinding operations for more than 12 years was associated with a 9.3-fold risk of esophageal cancer mortality (95% CI:2.1-42.1). When cumulative exposure rather than duration was considered, the odds ratio(OR)was elevated at 2.5 or greater in all exposure categories; in the middle category of cumulative exposure the OR rose to 5.9 (95% CI:1.9-18.8). The OR for ever grinding with synthetic was 4.1 (95% CI:1.1-15.0). Elevated risk was also identified in association with two agents commonly present in both synthetic and soluble fluids, nitrosamines and biocides. For any exposure to nitrosamines, the OR was 5.4 (95% CI:1.5-19.9); for biocides the OR was 3.8 (95% CI:0.8- 18.9). However, since the same workers were exposed to grinding with synthetics, nitrosamines, and biocides, it was not possible to separate out of the specific risks associated with these components.
Cancer; Factory-workers; Grinding-equipment; Exposure-levels; Risk-analysis; Solvents; Automotive-industry; Respiratory-system-disorders; Pulmonary-system-disorders; Metalworking-fluids; Metalworking
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Division of Respiratory Disease Studies, Morgantown, WV 26505
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Felinski DA; D'Arcy JB
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NIOSH Division
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Metalworking Fluids Symposium II, The Industrial Metalworking Environment: Assessment and Control of Metal Removal Fluids. September 15-17, 1997, Detroit, Michigan
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division