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Mortality experience of male workers at a UK tin smelter

, : Mortality experience of male workers at a UK tin smelter. Occupational Medicine 55(3): 215-226

Between 1937 and 1991, Capper Pass and Sons Limited operated a tin smelter complex in North Humberside, UK, at which employees were potentially exposed to a number of substances, including lead, arsenic, cadmium and natural series radionuclides. Decommissioning and site clearance continued until 1995. Between 1967 and 1995 the company was a subsidiary of Rio Tinto plc. The aim was to identify any significant excess, or deficits, in mortality among former employees that might be attributable to factors associated with occupation. We defined a cohort of 1462 males who had been employed for at least 12 months between 1/11/1967 and 28/7/1995, followed-up through to 31/12/2001. The mortality of the cohort was compared against that expected for both national and regional populations. Mortality from all causes and all cancers did not differ from that expected. Mortality from ischaemic heart disease showed a deficit and mortality from lung cancer showed a statistically significant excess. Mortality from smoking related diseases other than lung cancer showed a non-significant deficit. The pattern of lung cancer mortality is consistent with the hypothesis that the risk of lung cancer has been enhanced by occupational exposure to one or more carcinogens, the effect of which diminishes with time since exposure. The deficit in ischaemic heart disease may be attributed to a protective effect from manual labour. The results provide no evidence for attribution of other excess or deficits in mortality to factors associated with employment.


PMID: 15757978

DOI: 10.1093/occmed/kqi026

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