Display Settings:

Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Environ Health. 2006 May 22;5:13.

Update: cohort mortality study of workers highly exposed to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) during the manufacture of electrical capacitors, 1940-1998.

Author information

  • 1Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Division of Surveillance, Hazard Evaluation and Field Studies, Industrywide Studies Branch, Cincinnati, Ohio 45226, USA. mmprince12@earthlink.net

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health previously reported mortality for a cohort of workers considered highly exposed to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) between 1939 and 1977 at two electrical capacitor manufacturing plants. The current study updated vital status, examined liver and rectal cancer mortality previously reported in excess in this cohort and evaluated mortality from non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) and cancers of the stomach, intestine, breast, prostate, skin (melanoma) and brain reported to be in excess in other cohort and case-control studies of PCB-exposed persons.

METHODS:

Mortality was updated through 1998 for 2572 workers. Age-, gender-, race- and calendar year-adjusted standardized mortality ratios (SMRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated using U.S., state and county referent rates. SMRs using U.S. referent rates are reported. Duration of employment was used as a surrogate for exposure.

RESULTS:

Consistent with the previous follow-up, mortality from biliary passage, liver and gall bladder cancer was significantly elevated (11 deaths, SMR 2.11, CI 1.05 - 3.77), but mortality from rectal cancer was not (6 deaths, SMR 1.47, CI 0.54 - 3.21). Among women, mortality from intestinal cancer (24 deaths, SMR 1.89, CI 1.21 - 2.82) and from "other diseases of the nervous system and sense organs", which include Parkinson's disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, (15 deaths, SMR 2.07, CI 1.16 - 3.42) were elevated. There were four ALS deaths, all women (SMR 4.35, CI 1.19-11.14). Mortality was elevated for myeloma (7 deaths, SMR 2.11, CI 0.84 - 4.34), particularly among workers employed 10 years or more (5 deaths, SMR 2.80, CI 0.91 - 6.54). No linear associations between mortality and duration of employment were observed for the cancers of interest.

CONCLUSION:

This update found that the earlier reported excess in this cohort for biliary, liver and gall bladder cancer persisted with longer follow-up. Excess mortality for intestinal cancer among women was elevated across categories of duration of employment; myeloma mortality was highest among those working 10 years or more. The small numbers of deaths from liver and intestinal cancers, myeloma and nervous system diseases coupled with the lack of an exposure-response relationship with duration of employment preclude drawing definitive conclusions regarding PCB exposure and these causes of death.

PMID:
16716225
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC1524943
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for BioMed Central Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk