Update of cancer and non-cancer mortality in the Missouri poultry cohort

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BackgroundWorkers in poultry slaughtering and processing plants have one of the highest human exposures to transmissible agents that cause cancer and other diseases in chickens and turkeys, and also have other occupational carcinogenic exposures. The general population is also exposed to these transmissible agents.MethodsWe investigated mortality in workers who belong to a poultry union in Missouri, and estimated standardized mortality ratios.ResultsSignificantly increased mortality was observed for some leukemias, benign neoplasms, thyroid diseases, bacterial infections, and schizophrenic disorders. The risk of breast cancer and several non-cancer conditions was significantly depressed.ConclusionThe findings add to the growing evidence suggesting that workers occupationally exposed to transmissible agents and carcinogens in the poultry industry, are at increased risk of dying from certain chronic diseases, including cancer. Am. J. Ind. Med. 54:49-54, 2011. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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