Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Occup Med. 1994 Aug;36(8):860-6.

Cancer mortality patterns among female and male workers employed in a cable manufacturing plant during World War II.

Author information

  • 1National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Cincinnati, Ohio 45226-1988.


A cohort mortality study was conducted among 9028 (3042 women, 5986 men) workers potentially exposed to chlorinated naphthalenes (chloracnegens structurally similar to dioxins) and asbestos in the manufacture of Navy cable during World War II. Based on mortality through December 31, 1985, standardized mortality ratios (SMRs) for all cancers was 1.03 in women (95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.9 to 1.17) and 1.18 in men (95% CI = 1.10 to 1.26). There were no significant elevations in causes of death hypothesized a prior to be associated with chlorinated naphthalene exposure (malignant neoplasms [MN] of connective tissue, liver, and lymphatic and hematopoietic organs). An excess of MN of the connective tissue was suggested for workers with over 1 year of exposure and 25 years of latency (SMR = 3.54; 95% CI = 0.97 to 9.07). Among cancer sites not hypothesized to be related a priori, three showed concordant excesses among both genders (MN of stomach; rectum; and trachea, bronchus, and lung). No significant elevations occurred in hormonally related cancers among women. Cancer mortality among 460 individuals with chloracne (431 men, 29 women) was similar to that of the entire cohort, although the chloracne subcohort showed significant excesses in two rare causes of death (MN of esophagus, SMR = 3.26; "benign and unspecified neoplasms," SMR = 4.93). Use of county referent rates decreased SMRs for stomach, rectal, and buccal cavity cancer, suggesting a role for nonoccupational risk factors. It is difficult to draw conclusions about carcinogenicity of chlorinated naphthalenes because of study limitations, most importantly, concomitant asbestos exposure and the relatively short duration of exposure to chlorinated naphthalenes among most of the cohort.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk