Mortality and Cancer Incidence Among Tire Manufacturing Workers Hired in or After 1962

Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine. 49(6):680-690, June 2007. [Link]

Beall C, Corn M, Cheng H, Matthews R, Delzell E.

Department of Epidemiology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Bermingham, AL 35294-0022, USA.


Objective: This study evaluated mortality during 1962 through 2003 and cancer incidence during 1995 through 2003 at a tire manufacturing plant.

Methods: The mortality study included 3425 men and women, employed for at least one year. Of these, 3069 were eligible for the cancer incidence study.

Results: Employees experienced 390 deaths compared with 608 expected (standardized mortality ratio (SMR) = 64; 95% confidence interval (CI) = 58-71). Total cancer mortality (123 observed, SMR = 75, CI = 62-89) and lung cancer mortality (47 observed, SMR = 72, CI = 53-96) were lower than expected. Hourly white men had small increases in stomach cancer, bladder cancer, and leukemia deaths. During 1995 through 2003, 169 incident cancers were observed compared with 197 expected (SIR = 86, 95% CI = 74-100). Three mesothelioma cases occurred among hourly white men (SIR = 653, CI = 135-1907); all were exposed potentially to asbestos before starting at the rubber plant.

Conclusions: Small numbers and limited information on jobs, occupational agents, and lifestyle preclude attribution of observed increases to workplace exposures.