Results are reported from a nested case-control study of 60 esophageal cancer deaths among 46,384 automobile manufacturing workers potentially exposed to metalworking fluids (MWF) in machining and grinding operations. METHODS: By using incidence-density sampling, controls were selected with a sampling ratio of 20:1 from among co-workers who remained at risk by the age of death of the case, matched on race, gender, plant, and year of birth. Conditional logistic regression was used to evaluate the risk associated with cumulative exposure (mg/m3-years) to each of three types of metalworking fluid (straight, soluble, and synthetic MWF), as well as with years of exposure to selected components of MWF, including nitrosamines, sulfur, biocides, and several metals. RESULTS: Esophageal cancer was found to be significantly associated with exposure to both soluble and synthetic MWF in grinding operations. The odds ratios (ORs) for grinding with soluble MWF were elevated at 2.5 or greater in all categories of cumulative exposure, although the exposure-response trend was statistically significant only when exposure was measured as duration. Those with 12 or more years exposure to soluble MWF in grinding operations experienced a 9.3-fold relative risk of esophageal cancer mortality (95% CI = 2.1-42.1). The OR for ever grinding with synthetic MWF was 4.1 (95% CI = 1.1-15.0). Elevated risk was also associated with two agents found in both synthetic and soluble fluids, nitrosamines, and biocides. For 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, because the same workers were exposed to grinding with synthetics, nitrosamines and biocides, it was not possible to separate the specific risks associated with these components.
Mortality-data; Mortality-rates; Metalworking-fluids; Metalworking; Automotive-industry; Occupational-exposure; Cancer; Case-studies; Demographic-characteristics; Age-factors; Sex-factors; Racial-factors;
Author Keywords: metalworking fluids; esophageal cancer; grinding; cutting fluids; machining fluids; coolants; esophageal neoplasms; automobile workers; nitrosamine; metal removal fluids
Patricia A. Sullivan, Division of Respiratory Disease Studies, NIOSH, 1095 Willowdale Road, Morgantown WV 26505