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Cancer Causes Control. 1993 Mar;4(2):75-81.

Mortality from lung cancer and cardiovascular diseases among stainless-steel producing workers.

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Institut National de Recherche et de Sécurité, Vandoeuvre, France.


The mortality pattern of workers involved in the production of stainless steel (SS) was studied from 1968 to 1984 in order to investigate a possible risk of lung cancer in relation to exposure to chromium compounds, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and silica. The role of heat exposure in mortality from cardiovascular diseases also was examined. The cohort was comprised of 4,227 workers. Complete individual job histories were provided by the company (UGINE SA). The smoking habits of 24 percent of the cohort members were known from the interview of workers still active during the data collection. The observed numbers of deaths were compared with the expected ones based on national rates with adjustment for age, sex, and calendar time (standardized mortality ratio, SMR). No significant excesses of lung cancer were observed among workers employed in the manufacture of ferroalloys (SMR = 0.68) and in the melting and casting of SS (SMR = 1.04), whereas a significant excess appeared among SS foundry workers (SMR = 2.29). This excess was higher and remained significant among workers with more than 30 years since first employment in the foundry area (SMR = 3.34). Among subjects exposed to heat, no excess was observed for all cardiovascular diseases or for ischemic heart diseases.

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