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Epidemiol Prev. 2009 Jul-Oct;33(4-5):176-83.

[Cause-specific mortality in populations exposed and unexposed to outdoor emissions of formaldehyde and wood dust: the Viadana study].

[Article in Italian]

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Istituti Biologici II, Sezione di epidemiologia e statistica medica, Dipartimento di medicina e sanità pubblica, Università di Verona, Strada Le Grazie 8, Verona.



to describe the mortality risk for all causes and chronic diseases among people living in the industrial district of Viadana (Mantua), where wooden furniture factories producing formaldehyde and wood dust are situated.


mortality for the years 1996-2005 among residents in the municipalities where the industrial plants are located (exposed areas) was compared with the mortality among people living in the areas without plants (non-exposed areas).


standardized mortality ratios (SMR), using as reference the total population of the Province of Mantua.


overall mortality risk was slightly higher in the non-exposed areas and in the district of Viadana than in the Province of Mantua. Mortality risk for all cancers in the exposed areas was lower than in the Province of Mantua (SMR=0.93; 95% IC 0.87-0.99). Mortality for prostate cancer was significantly increased in the exposed areas compared to non-exposed areas (RR=1.83; 95% IC 1.08-3.09) and to the Province of Mantua as a whole (SMR=1.39; 95% IC 1.06-1.79). Mortality maps suggest a higher mortality risk for prostate cancer, mainly among exposed areas. An excess of mortality for leukaemia (non-statistically significant) and for respiratory diseases (statistically significant) was found in Gazzuolo and Sabbioneta, both located in the exposed area.


no statistically significant excess risk of mortality for cancer of upper aerodigestive tract was found among residents in municipalities where wood dust and formaldehyde producing factories were active. The increased mortality risk for prostate cancer and leukaemia needs to be deeply analyzed.

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