Translated title of the contribution: Mortality experience of paint production workers

P. A. Bertazzi, C. Zocchetti, G. F. Terzaghi, L. Riboldi, S. Guercilena, F. Beretta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The carcinogenic risks attendant to working in the paint and coatings industry have received little attention although several of the compounds to which workers employed in this production are possibly exposed are known to be carcinogenic. The mortality among 427 workmen employed for at least six months between 1946 and 1977 in a plant manufacturing paint and coatings was examined. The study covered the period 1954-1978. Expected deaths were calculated on the basis of the national mortality rates and of the local rates of the city nearest to the plant location. Deaths due to cancer were in excess; this was significant when compared to the local rates (Obs. = 18; Exp. = 9.8). Eight deaths due to lung cancer were observed against 3.5 expected according to the local rates and 2.4 expected according to the national rates; both the excesses are statistically significant at the chosen probability level. The excess mortality for all cancers and lung cancer exhibited a positive monotonic trend according to duration of employment and time elapsed since the exposure began (latency). These results do not agree with those of the only previous mortality study in similar plants known to us, while they are quite consistent with the findings of several studies of people exposed to chromate pigments. In fact, the major exposure agent in this plant was chromate pigments. A possible role could also have been played by asbestos which was used in a smaller amount in the factory till 1977. An interaction between these factors and cigarette smoking is suggested as a possible explanation of the findings. Larger studies are, however, needed in order to corroborate these results.

Translated title of the contributionMortality experience of paint production workers
Original languageItalian
Pages (from-to)465-472
Number of pages8
JournalMedicina del Lavoro
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1981

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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