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Occup Med (Lond). 2009 Jun;59(4):255-63. doi: 10.1093/occmed/kqp030. Epub 2009 Mar 17.

Mortality in employees at a New Zealand agrochemical manufacturing site.

Author information

1
Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, University of Otago, PO Box 913, Dunedin, New Zealand. david.mcbride@otago.ac.nz

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Previous studies at the Dow AgroSciences (Formerly Ivon Watkins-Dow) plant in New Plymouth, New Zealand, had raised concerns about the cancer risk in a subset of workers at the site with potential exposure to 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin. As the plant had been involved in the synthesis and formulation of a wide range of agrochemicals and their feedstocks, we examined the mortality risk for all workers at the site.

AIMS:

To quantify the mortality hazards arising from employment at the Dow AgroSciences agrochemical production site in New Plymouth, New Zealand.

METHODS:

Workers employed between 1 January 1969 and 1 October 2003 were followed up to the end of 2004. Standardized mortality ratios (SMRs) were calculated using national mortality rates by employment duration, sex, period of hire and latency.

RESULTS:

A total of 1754 employees were followed during the study period and 247 deaths were observed. The all causes and all cancers SMRs were 0.97 (95% CI 0.85-1.10) and 1.01 (95% CI 0.80-1.27), respectively. Mortality due to all causes was higher for short-term workers (SMR 1.23, 95% CI 0.91-1.62) than long-term workers (SMR 0.92, 95% CI 0.80-1.06) and women had lower death rates than men. Analyses by latency and period of hire did not show any patterns consistent with an adverse impact of occupational exposures.

CONCLUSIONS:

The mortality experience of workers at the site was similar to the rest of New Zealand.

PMID:
19297337
PMCID:
PMC2686742
DOI:
10.1093/occmed/kqp030
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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