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"We Were There" - PVC and Angiosarcoma

How a Rare Cancer Changed the Workplace and Environment: PVC and Angiosarcoma

Image of video from seventh We Were There lecture

On Tuesday, April 24th the “We Were There” lecture series presented “How a Rare Cancer Changed the Workplace and Environment: PVC and Angiosarcoma,” at the Roybal Campus, Alexander D. Langmuir Auditorium.

Welcome to “We Were There,” a quarterly lecture series featuring past and present CDC researchers as they share their personal perspectives on historically important, CDC-led epidemiologic and laboratory investigations. This series will provide insight into the rich past of CDC and give the audience a chance to hear first-hand accounts from the responders.

On January 22, 1974, the deaths of 3 employees of a polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plant in Louisville, Kentucky, were reported to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). The deaths were caused by a rare type of liver cancer, hepatic angiosarcoma. At the time, only 27 Americans a year were diagnosed with it.

CDC and NIOSH investigators suspected a link between the rare cancer and the PVC produced in the plant. Learn how an investigation that started with a small number of cancer deaths led to a dramatic revision of global PVC production, strengthened occupational protections, and spurred new thinking about environmental health and links to cancer.

Speakers for this session included: Henry Falk, MD; Philip Landrigan, MD; and Richard A. Lemen, PhD, MSPH.


Thumbnail image of video for We Were There - PVC and Angiosarcoma
  • SPEAKER BIOS – Biographies for the 3 speakers featured during the “We Were There” lecture, “How a Rare Cancer Changed the Workplace and Environment: PVC and Angiosarcoma”


  • EVENT POSTER – Poster signed by the 3 speakers: Henry Falk, MD, Philip Landrigan, MD, and Richard A. Lemen, PhD, MSPH.


  • Page last reviewed: April 24, 2018
  • Page last updated: April 24, 2018
  • Content source:
    • Office of the Associate Director for Science