Silicosis and lung cancer among workers in North Carolina dusty trades.

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Morgantown, West Virginia 26505, USA.
Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment & Health (Impact Factor: 3.1). 02/1995; 21 Suppl 2:81-3.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT In 1940-1983, 760 cases of silicosis were identified among male North Carolina (NC) workers in dusty trades. Vital status was ascertained through 1983 for 714 silicotics, and death certificates were obtained for 546 of the 550 decedents. The standardized mortality ratio (SMR) for lung cancer based on United States rates was 2.6 [95% confidence interval (95% CI) 1.8-3.6] for whites, 2.3 (95% CI 1.5-3.4) for whites unexposed to other known occupational carcinogens, and 2.4 (95% CI 1.5-3.6) for whites with no other exposure and diagnosed with silicosis while still employed in dusty trades. In addition, the age- and smoking-adjusted rate for silicotics was 3.9 times higher (95% CI 2.4-6.4) than that of nonsilicotic metal miners. This analysis effectively controlled for confounding by age, cigarette smoking, exposure to other occupational carcinogens, and detection bias. The results congrue with the hypothesis of an association between silicosis and lung cancer.

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    ABSTRACT: Background To investigate exposure–response relationships for silica, silicosis, and lung cancer.Methods Quantitative review of the literature identified in a computerized literature search.ResultsThe risk of silicosis (ILO category 1/1 or more) following a lifetime of exposure at the current OSHA standard of 0.1 mg/m3 is likely to be at least 5–10% and lung cancer risk is likely to be increased by 30% or more. The exposure–response relation for silicosis is nonlinear and reduction of dust exposures would have a greater than linear benefit in terms of risk reduction. Available data suggests that 30 years exposure at 0.1 mg/m3 might lead to a lifetime silicosis risk of about 25%, whereas reduction of the exposure to 0.05 mg/m3 might reduce the risk to under 5%.Conclusions The lifetime risk of silicosis and lung cancer at an exposure level of 0.1 mg/m3 is high. Lowering exposures to the NIOSH recommended limit if 0.05 mg/m3 may have substantial benefit. Am. J. Ind. Med. 38:8–18, 2000. © 2000 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
    American Journal of Industrial Medicine 07/2000; 38(1):8 - 18. DOI:10.1002/1097-0274(200007)38:1<8::AID-AJIM2>3.0.CO;2-# · 1.59 Impact Factor
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