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Mortality patterns among the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, 1982-1987.

Robinson-CF; Petersen-M; Palu-S
NOIRS 1997 Abstracts of the National Occupational Injury Research Symposium 1997. Washington, DC: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 1997 Oct; :30
This study evaluated the mortality of 31,068 members of the U.S. Electrical Workers' Union who worked in the construction industry and died 1982-1987. Age-adjusted proportionate mortality ratios (PMRs) and proportionate cancer mortality ratios (PCMRs) were computed using the U.S. age-, gender-, and race-specific proportional mortality for the years of the study. For white male electrical workers, significantly raised mortality was observed for lung cancer (PMR=117), mesothelioma (PMR=356), melanoma skin cancer (PMR=123), cancer of prostate (PMR=107) leukemia (PMR=115, tumors of eye, brain and central nervous system (PMR=136), diseases of the blood forming organs (PMR=141), asbestosis (PMR=248), electrocutions (PMR=1145), and all fatal injuries (PMR=116). When proportionate cancer mortality analysis was used, the risks for these cancers remained elevated, although the significance became borderline for leukemia and melanoma PMRs. Among 114 white women electrical workers, mortality due to leukemia (PMR=195) and breast cancer (PMR=124) was elevated, but not significantly. More than 82% of all electrical workers studied had greater than 30 years membership in the union. The data show that electrical workers have elevated proportionate mortality for the diseases caused by asbestos (lung cancer, asbestosis, and malignant mesothelioma) and from traumatic injuries, particularly electrocutions and other fatalities that may be related to the workplace. The findings of prostate cancer, tumors of eye, brain and central nervous system, and diseases of the blood forming organs were unexpected. Elevated mortality from leukemia and melanoma skin cancer may be related to electrical work and suggests further evaluation of possible risk factors is needed. These data suggest that construction electrical work is a very hazardous trade.
Mortality-data; Mortality-rates; Mortality-surveys; Electrical-workers; Electrical-industry; Construction-workers; Construction-industry; Traumatic-injuries; Demographic-characteristics; Age-factors; Racial-factors; Sex-factors; Lung-cancer; Cancer; Respiratory-system-disorders; Pulmonary-system-disorders; Skin-cancer; Electrocutions; Electrical-hazards; Risk-factors; Risk-analysis; Occupational-hazards
Publication Date
Document Type
Conference/Symposia Proceedings; Abstract
Fiscal Year
NIOSH Division
Source Name
NOIRS 1997 Abstracts of the National Occupational Injury Research Symposium
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division