A mortality study of newspaper printing workers

P. A. Bertazzi, C. Zocchetti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Following an inquiry from the workers of a large newspaper plant in Milan, Italy, a mortality study was undertaken to investigate the reportedly high occurrence of cancer. The study covered the period from 1956 to 1975. Among the 700 workers participating, for a total of 12,198 person-years, 199 deaths had occurred. Overall mortality was not lower than expected and a significant excess was found among the workers aged 25-54 years. Cancer mortality was higher than expected; the only significant excess, however, was found among packers and forwarders who had a greater incidence of all neoplasms, all respiratory cancers, and lung cancer. Some possible explanations concerning personal life-style and occupational exposure previously not considered are proposed. Mortality from circulatory diseases and ischemic heart disease was significantly in excess among the workers aged 25-54 years and was associated with length of employment, age at the time of hiring, and duration of follow-up; analysis by job category revealed a significant mortality excess from these causes among packers and forwarders. It is suggested that the mortality pattern observed for cardiovascular disease, as well as for all causes, could be interpreted in the light of the peculiar characteristics of newspaper production. The initial complaint, instigating the study, arose from the packers and forwarders department.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-97
Number of pages13
JournalAmerican Journal of Industrial Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1980

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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