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Am J Ind Med. 1997 Feb;31(2):129-39.

Chromium as an industrial carcinogen: Part I.

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  • 1Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh, PA, USA.


Successive cohorts by year of hire at the same chromate plant (1931-1932, 1933-1934, 1935-1937) and the combined cohort (1931-1937) of 332 employees were followed through 1993. A total of 283 deaths (85%) of the total cohort were identified. In the combined cohort (1931-1937), 66 lung cancers were found, constituting 23.3% of all deaths and 64.7% of all cancers. The lung cancer mortality rates are shown over a span of decades, from 15 years to over 55 years, with progressive rise. Observations of lung cancer identified, employees not found, and cancer risk by age at hire are cited. Lung cancer death rates increased by gradient level of exposure to insoluble (trivalent) chromium and to soluble (hexavalent) chromium, with a pattern of increase by total chromium. Age-specific death rates for lung cancer according to the same gradient exposure range for total, insoluble, and soluble chromium are presented. The potential cancer risk extends to all forms of chromium and to total chromium.

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