NORA Manufacturing Sector Strategic Goals
927ZDJE – Study of Former IBM Employees in Endicott, NY
Start Date: 1/1/2008
End Date: 9/30/2014
Principal Investigator (PI)
Name: Sharon Silver
Funded By: NIOSH
Primary Goal Addressed
Secondary Goal Addressed
Attributed to Manufacturing
In response to requests from the New York State Department of Health and Congressional representatives from New York, NIOSH assessed the feasibility of a study of cancer among individuals who worked for IBM in Endicott, NY. NIOSH concluded that a study of cancer was feasible and is currently preparing a protocol for a retrospective study of cancer incidence and mortality among former employees. This project will result in manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals describing mortality and cancer incidence patterns among former employees.
In response to requests from the New York State Department of Health and Congressional representatives from New York, NIOSH assessed the feasibility of a study of cancer among individuals who worked for IBM in Endicott, NY and concluded such a study was feasible. NIOSH researchers are now conducting a a retrospective study of mortality and cancer incidence among 28,000 former IBM employees. The study will evaluate risks of mortality and cancer incidence among the full cohort and exposure-related subcohorts; examine crudely the relation between length or level of exposure (or its proxies) and disease or mortality risks; and evaluate the role of coexposures in any observed relations between exposures and health outcomes. In FY08, the feasibility assessment was completed and the study protocol begun. In FY09, the feasibility of including contractors in the study will be determined, the feasibility of studying birth defects among IBM-Endicott employees will be assessed, the study protocol will be completed, additional company records will be reviewed and obtained, the exposure assessment strategy will be finalized, and vital status will be ascertained for the cohort.
This project will result in manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals describing mortality and cancer incidence patterns among former employees. We anticipate that publication of the final analytic epidemiology results will occur sometime between 2011-2014, depending on records availability and the type of exposure assessment conducted.
NIOSH staff will meet with NYSDOH/ATSDR, WBESC, and Alliance@IBM following dissemination of the study findings to learn whether these organizations plan to conduct or request additional research or take any other action based on the findings.
The purpose of this project is to address concerns about the risk of cancer and other adverse health outcomes among current and former IBM employees in Endicott, NY. The study results will be relevant to the more than 200,000 semiconductor industry workers employed in the U.S., as well as to many additional workers employed in this industry internationally. This project relates to Strategic Goal 6: Reduce the incidence and prevalence of cancer due to exposures in the manufacturing sector. The project also addresses the Cancer, Reproductive and Cardiovascular Diseases Cross-Sector Intermediate goal 1.1 of conducting research to reduce work-related cancer through the activity/output goal #1 of conducing analytic studies of high priority, high feasibility populations and exposures. This study will identify subgroups of workers in the semiconductor manufacturing industry who may be at higher risk of adverse health outcomes due to their occupational exposures.
The project also addresses the Exposure Assessment Other Cross-Sector Programs Intermediate Goal 2.13 of developing methods to retrospectively assess exposures to workplace agents to better inform complex studies exploring associations between disease occurrence and past exposure to workplace agents through Activity/Output 2.13.1 (developing methodologies for retrospective exposure assessment in occupational cohorts that allow exposure categorization of workers for epidemiologic studies resulting in demonstration of a dose-response effect or conclusion of no association between the agent and disease in the cohorts). The study will require development of methodologies for retrospective categorization of workers for whom limited exposure data are available in order to assess the relation between their workplace exposures and any adverse health outcomes.