Cancer risk among workers producing formaldehyde-based resins: Estension of follow-up

P. A. Bertazzi, A. Pesatori, S. Guercilena, D. Consonni, C. Zocchetti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

A significant increase in lung cancer was observed in a previous study on the mortality experience of a cohort of 1332 male workers employed between 1959 and 1980 in a resin manufacturing plant. Due to the limited exposure data and an inadequate follow-up, it was not possible to make a thorough analysis of the potential association of this elevated risk with exposure to formaldehyde. The study was therefore continued and extended for a further six years (1980-1986), in order to overcome the limitations. Despite these attempts, however, there were still 219 workers whose specific exposure could not be identified. Lung cancer risk in the whole cohort (27,202 person-years) was equal to that of the local population (observed = 24; expected = 23.9). Among those definitely exposed to formaldehyde, 6 lung cancer cases were observed and 8.7 were expected, while those with non-specified exposure exhibited an increased risk (observed = 9; SMR = 211); they were mainly short-term workers employed at the beginning of operations. The previously suggested increase in haematologic neoplasms was confirmed (observed = 7; SMR = 143); the risk was highest among formaldehyde-exposed workers (observed = 3; SMR = 173). Five deaths due to primary liver cancer were observed, while 2.0 would have been expected from the local population rates (SMR = 244); the increased risk was fairly evenly distributed across the exposure categories (exposed to formaldehyde, SMR = 244; non-exposed to formaldehyde, SMR = 227; non-specified exposure = 287); however, all cases were first exposed at the age of 45 years or older. A noteworthy finding was a 50% increase in mortality from respiratory diseases. The increase was mainly apparent among those with longest and earliest exposure, employed in operations classified as involving exposures other than formaldehyde (observed = 9; SMR = 224). Overall, the results of this extended study do not provide sufficient grounds for associating work in formaldehyde resin production in this plant with increased carcinogenic risk; however, limitations in the individual exposure classification and suggestions of an increased risk for certain tumours preclude considering the study as negative. The numerous airborne irritative agents present in the plant environment appeared to have increased the risk of respiratory disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-122
Number of pages12
JournalMedicina del Lavoro
Volume80
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1989

Fingerprint

Formaldehyde
Neoplasms
Lung Neoplasms
Mortality
Hematologic Neoplasms
Liver Neoplasms
Population

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

Cite this

Cancer risk among workers producing formaldehyde-based resins : Estension of follow-up. / Bertazzi, P. A.; Pesatori, A.; Guercilena, S.; Consonni, D.; Zocchetti, C.

In: Medicina del Lavoro, Vol. 80, No. 2, 1989, p. 111-122.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{b1a945c627b14f02bf35a7654718d216,
title = "Cancer risk among workers producing formaldehyde-based resins: Estension of follow-up",
abstract = "A significant increase in lung cancer was observed in a previous study on the mortality experience of a cohort of 1332 male workers employed between 1959 and 1980 in a resin manufacturing plant. Due to the limited exposure data and an inadequate follow-up, it was not possible to make a thorough analysis of the potential association of this elevated risk with exposure to formaldehyde. The study was therefore continued and extended for a further six years (1980-1986), in order to overcome the limitations. Despite these attempts, however, there were still 219 workers whose specific exposure could not be identified. Lung cancer risk in the whole cohort (27,202 person-years) was equal to that of the local population (observed = 24; expected = 23.9). Among those definitely exposed to formaldehyde, 6 lung cancer cases were observed and 8.7 were expected, while those with non-specified exposure exhibited an increased risk (observed = 9; SMR = 211); they were mainly short-term workers employed at the beginning of operations. The previously suggested increase in haematologic neoplasms was confirmed (observed = 7; SMR = 143); the risk was highest among formaldehyde-exposed workers (observed = 3; SMR = 173). Five deaths due to primary liver cancer were observed, while 2.0 would have been expected from the local population rates (SMR = 244); the increased risk was fairly evenly distributed across the exposure categories (exposed to formaldehyde, SMR = 244; non-exposed to formaldehyde, SMR = 227; non-specified exposure = 287); however, all cases were first exposed at the age of 45 years or older. A noteworthy finding was a 50{\%} increase in mortality from respiratory diseases. The increase was mainly apparent among those with longest and earliest exposure, employed in operations classified as involving exposures other than formaldehyde (observed = 9; SMR = 224). Overall, the results of this extended study do not provide sufficient grounds for associating work in formaldehyde resin production in this plant with increased carcinogenic risk; however, limitations in the individual exposure classification and suggestions of an increased risk for certain tumours preclude considering the study as negative. The numerous airborne irritative agents present in the plant environment appeared to have increased the risk of respiratory disease.",
author = "Bertazzi, {P. A.} and A. Pesatori and S. Guercilena and D. Consonni and C. Zocchetti",
year = "1989",
language = "English",
volume = "80",
pages = "111--122",
journal = "Medicina del Lavoro",
issn = "0025-7818",
publisher = "Mattioli 1885 S.p.A.",
number = "2",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Cancer risk among workers producing formaldehyde-based resins

T2 - Estension of follow-up

AU - Bertazzi, P. A.

AU - Pesatori, A.

AU - Guercilena, S.

AU - Consonni, D.

AU - Zocchetti, C.

PY - 1989

Y1 - 1989

N2 - A significant increase in lung cancer was observed in a previous study on the mortality experience of a cohort of 1332 male workers employed between 1959 and 1980 in a resin manufacturing plant. Due to the limited exposure data and an inadequate follow-up, it was not possible to make a thorough analysis of the potential association of this elevated risk with exposure to formaldehyde. The study was therefore continued and extended for a further six years (1980-1986), in order to overcome the limitations. Despite these attempts, however, there were still 219 workers whose specific exposure could not be identified. Lung cancer risk in the whole cohort (27,202 person-years) was equal to that of the local population (observed = 24; expected = 23.9). Among those definitely exposed to formaldehyde, 6 lung cancer cases were observed and 8.7 were expected, while those with non-specified exposure exhibited an increased risk (observed = 9; SMR = 211); they were mainly short-term workers employed at the beginning of operations. The previously suggested increase in haematologic neoplasms was confirmed (observed = 7; SMR = 143); the risk was highest among formaldehyde-exposed workers (observed = 3; SMR = 173). Five deaths due to primary liver cancer were observed, while 2.0 would have been expected from the local population rates (SMR = 244); the increased risk was fairly evenly distributed across the exposure categories (exposed to formaldehyde, SMR = 244; non-exposed to formaldehyde, SMR = 227; non-specified exposure = 287); however, all cases were first exposed at the age of 45 years or older. A noteworthy finding was a 50% increase in mortality from respiratory diseases. The increase was mainly apparent among those with longest and earliest exposure, employed in operations classified as involving exposures other than formaldehyde (observed = 9; SMR = 224). Overall, the results of this extended study do not provide sufficient grounds for associating work in formaldehyde resin production in this plant with increased carcinogenic risk; however, limitations in the individual exposure classification and suggestions of an increased risk for certain tumours preclude considering the study as negative. The numerous airborne irritative agents present in the plant environment appeared to have increased the risk of respiratory disease.

AB - A significant increase in lung cancer was observed in a previous study on the mortality experience of a cohort of 1332 male workers employed between 1959 and 1980 in a resin manufacturing plant. Due to the limited exposure data and an inadequate follow-up, it was not possible to make a thorough analysis of the potential association of this elevated risk with exposure to formaldehyde. The study was therefore continued and extended for a further six years (1980-1986), in order to overcome the limitations. Despite these attempts, however, there were still 219 workers whose specific exposure could not be identified. Lung cancer risk in the whole cohort (27,202 person-years) was equal to that of the local population (observed = 24; expected = 23.9). Among those definitely exposed to formaldehyde, 6 lung cancer cases were observed and 8.7 were expected, while those with non-specified exposure exhibited an increased risk (observed = 9; SMR = 211); they were mainly short-term workers employed at the beginning of operations. The previously suggested increase in haematologic neoplasms was confirmed (observed = 7; SMR = 143); the risk was highest among formaldehyde-exposed workers (observed = 3; SMR = 173). Five deaths due to primary liver cancer were observed, while 2.0 would have been expected from the local population rates (SMR = 244); the increased risk was fairly evenly distributed across the exposure categories (exposed to formaldehyde, SMR = 244; non-exposed to formaldehyde, SMR = 227; non-specified exposure = 287); however, all cases were first exposed at the age of 45 years or older. A noteworthy finding was a 50% increase in mortality from respiratory diseases. The increase was mainly apparent among those with longest and earliest exposure, employed in operations classified as involving exposures other than formaldehyde (observed = 9; SMR = 224). Overall, the results of this extended study do not provide sufficient grounds for associating work in formaldehyde resin production in this plant with increased carcinogenic risk; however, limitations in the individual exposure classification and suggestions of an increased risk for certain tumours preclude considering the study as negative. The numerous airborne irritative agents present in the plant environment appeared to have increased the risk of respiratory disease.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=0024625736&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=0024625736&partnerID=8YFLogxK

M3 - Article

C2 - 2770616

AN - SCOPUS:0024625736

VL - 80

SP - 111

EP - 122

JO - Medicina del Lavoro

JF - Medicina del Lavoro

SN - 0025-7818

IS - 2

ER -