Mortality and Cancer Experience of Quebec Aluminum Reduction Plant Workers, Part 2: Mortality of Three Cohorts Hired on or Before January 1, 1951

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Objective:To describe the mortality of Quebec aluminum smelter workers employed before 1951.Methods:The mortality of 5977 men hired at three plants on or before January 1, 1951 was compared with that of Quebec men. Relationships to benzo[a]pyrene, benzene-soluble material, and smoking were examined.Results:Statistically significant causes of death were lung cancer (three plants); bladder cancer; chronic obstructive lung disease (two plants each); cancers of the stomach, digestive system unspecified, rectum and rectosigmoid, pancreas, and larynx; Alzheimer's disease (one plant); and cerebrovascular disease (one plant). Not significant increases were also observed.Conclusions:Mortality from cancer of the lung and bladder and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease are related to exposure in Söderberg smelters. The cause of increased stomach cancer mortality is unclear. Excess mortality from some other diseases may be explained by factors other than coal tar pitch volatiles exposure.

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