"We Were There" - PVC and Angiosarcoma
How a Rare Cancer Changed the Workplace and Environment: PVC and Angiosarcoma
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.