Industry-wide study of mortality of pulp and paper mill workers.

Department of Epidemiology, Johns Hopkins University, School of Hygiene and Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine (Impact Factor: 1.74). 04/1998; 33(4):354-65.
Source: PubMed


A study of pulp and paper mill workers indicated low risks of death from all causes (standardized mortality ratio (SMR) = 0.74) and all cancers (SMR = 0.81) compared with U.S. rates. The leukemia death rate in workers was not higher than the U.S. rate but was higher than the rate in county populations surrounding mills. Workers whose last jobs were in the finishing areas of the mills had an elevated SMR for liver cancer. An internal comparison of occupational characteristics indicated that workers employed in mills using other chemical pulping operations had significantly elevated mortality from all causes, all cancers, heart disease, lymphomas, and brain cancers. Lung cancer mortality was elevated in mills using kraft pulping. The internal comparisons confirmed the association between work in finishing and the risk of liver cancer. This study was designed to investigate whether pulp and paper mill workers have any risks that would indicate the need for studies detailing exposures.

Download full-text


Available from: Xuguang Grant Tao, Apr 23, 2014
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: A Canadian case-control study explored the etiology of thyroid cancer, including occupational exposure. Analysis of job history from 1272 thyroid cancer patients and 2666 controls revealed statistically significant risks among the following occupations: Wood Processing, Pulp and Papermaking (odds ratio [OR] = 2.54, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.11-5.83); Sales and Service (OR = 1.26, 95% CI = 1.05-1.52); and Clerical (OR = 0.81, 95% CI = 0.67-0.97). ORs were adjusted for age, sex, province, cigarette smoking, education, self-reported exposure to radiation at work, and duration of employment. Exposure to ionizing radiation or electromagnetic fields at work (inferred from job histories) did not affect risk, nor did socioeconomic status, measured by education, income, or occupational prestige. Possible explanations for the results and further investigations are discussed.
    No preview · Article · Apr 2000 · Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The study investigated cancer incidence among 23,718 male pulp and paper workers employed continuously for at least 1 year between 1920 and 1993 in Norway. The name, date of birth, personal identification number, dates of hire and termination for all employment periods, specific department, and job categories were registered for each worker. Six subcohorts were established (sulfite mill, sulfate mill, paper mill, maintenance department, administrative staff and other departments). Data on the cohort were linked with data in the Norwegian Cancer Register. The follow-up period for cancer incidence, date of death, or emigration was from 1953 through 1993. An excess incidence of lung cancer was found among both short- and long-term employees [standardized incidence ratio (SIR) 1.5, 95% confidence interval (95% CI) 1.13-2.03 and SIR 1.2, 95% CI 1.09-1.34, respectively], especially for workers with the longest latency (SIR 1.3, 95% CI 1.08-1.44) and for sulfite mill workers (SIR 1.5, 95% CI 1.09-1.99). The risk for pleural mesothelioma was also increased (SIR 2.4, 95% CI 1.45-3.75), especially among maintenance workers. The results also showed an increased risk for malignant melanoma (SIR 1.3, 95% CI 1.04-1.60), an unexpected finding. Almost all the increased risk for lung cancer can be explained by a combination of smoking habits and asbestos use. although an effect of other work-related exposures (sulfur and chloride compounds, wood dust) cannot be excluded. Most of the cases of pleural mesothelioma occurred in departments where asbestos was used. There is no clear explanation for the excess of malignant melanoma, and the finding may be a chance occurrence.
    Preview · Article · May 2000 · Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment & Health
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: To investigate whether workers in Swedish sulfate mills have an increased risk of death from certain malignancies that have previously been linked to the pulping process. Subjects of the study (n=2480) were men aged 40-75 at death during 1960-89 in the parishes surrounding four sulfate mills. Exposure assessment was based on information from the personnel files in the mills- 35% of the subjects were recognised there, and work categories were created. Among all sulfate mill workers, the odds ratio (OR) (90% confidence interval (90% CI)) for death from lung cancer was 1.6 (1.1 to 2.3), pleural mesotheliomas 9.5 (1.9 to 48), brain tumours 2.6 (1.2 to 5.3), and liver or biliary tract cancer 2.3 (1.0 to 5.2). There was an increased mortality from leukaemia among workers in the soda recovery plant (5.9 (2.6 to 13)) and bleaching plant and digester house (2.8 (1.0 to 7.5)). Sulfate mill workers were at increased risk of dying from lung cancer and pleural mesotheliomas, probably due to exposure to asbestos. Increased risks of brain tumours and cancers of the liver or biliary tract were also found but the aetiology is not obvious.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2001 · Occupational and Environmental Medicine
Show more