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Int J Hyg Environ Health. 2014 Mar;217(2-3):176-87. doi: 10.1016/j.ijheh.2013.04.006. Epub 2013 Apr 30.

Mortality among 24,865 workers exposed to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in three electrical capacitor manufacturing plants: a ten-year update.

Author information

1
Division of Surveillance, Hazard Evaluations and Field Studies, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Cincinnati, OH, USA. Electronic address: aruder@cdc.gov.
2
Division of Surveillance, Hazard Evaluations and Field Studies, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Cincinnati, OH, USA.
3
Institute for Work and Health (IST), Rue du Bugnon 21, CH-1011 Lausanne, Switzerland.
4
Division of Applied Research Technology, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Cincinnati, OH, USA.

Abstract

The objective of this analysis was to evaluate mortality among a cohort of 24,865 capacitor-manufacturing workers exposed to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) at plants in Indiana, Massachusetts, and New York and followed for mortality through 2008. Cumulative PCB exposure was estimated using plant-specific job-exposure matrices. External comparisons to US and state-specific populations used standardized mortality ratios, adjusted for gender, race, age and calendar year. Among long-term workers employed 3 months or longer, within-cohort comparisons used standardized rate ratios and multivariable Poisson regression modeling. Through 2008, more than one million person-years at risk and 8749 deaths were accrued. Among long-term employees, all-cause and all-cancer mortality were not elevated; of the a priori outcomes assessed only melanoma mortality was elevated. Mortality was elevated for some outcomes of a priori interest among subgroups of long-term workers: all cancer, intestinal cancer and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (women); melanoma (men); melanoma and brain and nervous system cancer (Indiana plant); and melanoma and multiple myeloma (New York plant). Standardized rates of stomach and uterine cancer and multiple myeloma mortality increased with estimated cumulative PCB exposure. Poisson regression modeling showed significant associations with estimated cumulative PCB exposure for prostate and stomach cancer mortality. For other outcomes of a priori interest--rectal, liver, ovarian, breast, and thyroid cancer, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, Alzheimer disease, and Parkinson disease--neither elevated mortality nor positive associations with PCB exposure were observed. Associations between estimated cumulative PCB exposure and stomach, uterine, and prostate cancer and myeloma mortality confirmed our previous positive findings.

KEYWORDS:

Cancer; Cohort study; Exposure assessment; Occupational exposure; Polychlorinated biphenyls

PMID:
23707056
PMCID:
PMC4557692
DOI:
10.1016/j.ijheh.2013.04.006
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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