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Am J Ind Med. 1995 Mar;27(3):389-403.

Cancer mortality among workers in abattoirs and meatpacking plants: an update.

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Epidemiology Branch, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Research Triangle Park, NC, USA.


Workers in abattoirs and meatpacking plants have potential for exposure to bovine leukemia virus (BLV) and bovine papilloma viruses (BPV), which are oncogenic in cattle. These workers also have increased exposure to human papilloma viruses (HPV) and certain chemical carcinogens. We investigated whether such a group showed increased risk of cancers. We report mortality results after an additional 9-year follow-up of a previously studied group of 5,522 workers in abattoirs and 4,589 workers in meatpacking plants. Excess risk of all cancers combined, cancers of the lung, buccal cavity and pharynx, esophagus, colon, bladder, kidney, and bone was observed. Since factors such as tobacco smoking, alcohol, and diet, which have known associations with some of these cancers, were not taken into account, the significance of these findings is not known, except for lung cancer, for which occupational factors are probably involved. Because some of these findings have been consistently reported before, studies that will control for confounding factors as well are now urgently needed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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