Occupationally Related Cancer Risk Among Coke Oven Workers: 30 Years of Follow-Up


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Abstract

This study concerns the update of cause-specific mortality among coke oven workers. Updated information provides 3 decades of work history and vital status follow-up on 15,818 workers. Mortality patterns are summarized by race, cumulative exposure, and period of follow-up. The findings are consistent with those from earlier assessments, indicating that occupational exposure to coke oven emissions is associated with significant excess mortality from cancer of the respiratory system and of the prostate. Depending on the segment of the population considered, the respiratory cancer risk for coke oven workers ranged as high as 4.45 times that for non-oven workers. Relative risk values for cancer of the prostate ranged as high as 1.93. Rates of respiratory cancer across period of follow-up are declining, suggesting that the implementation of emissions control and occupational exposure limits has been beneficial.

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