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J Occup Environ Med. 2009 Mar;51(3):373-85. doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e3181973e19.

Mortality in the German porcelain industry 1985-2005: first results of an epidemiological cohort study.

Author information

1
Environ Germany GmbH, Essen, Germany. tbirk@environcorp.com

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To evaluate mortality due to lung cancer, silicosis, renal cancer, renal disease and other causes among German porcelain production workers potentially exposed to crystalline silica.

METHODS:

Seventeen thousand six hundred forty-four medical surveillance participants (1985-1987) were followed through 2005 for mortality. Cause-specific Standardized Mortality Ratios (SMR) and 95% confidence intervals were estimated.

RESULTS:

Women (SMR = 0.85; 95% CI = 0.78 to 0.93), but not men, demonstrated a healthy worker effect. Lung and renal cancers, and renal disease (non-malignant renal disease) were not associated with employment or exposure surrogates. Mortality was increased from silicosis (SMR = 7.20; 95% CI = 2.32 to 16.8) liver (SMR = 1.99; 95% CI = 1.29 to 2.93) and pancreatic (SMR = 1.71; 95% CI = 1.18 to 2.41) cancers among men, and diabetes among women (SMR = 1.74; 95% CI = 1.07 to 2.65). A sub-cohort of Bavarian workers generated similar but generally higher SMRs.

CONCLUSIONS:

Silicosis mortality was increased in this, among the largest studies to date. However, associations previously observed between crystalline silica exposure and renal or lung cancers or non-malignant renal disease were not supported.

PMID:
19225421
DOI:
10.1097/JOM.0b013e3181973e19
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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