Mortality Among Semiconductor and Storage Device-Manufacturing Workers

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Abstract

Problem:

We evaluated mortality during 1965 to 1999 among 126,836 workers at two semiconductor facilities and one storage device facility.

Method:

We compared employees’ cause-specific mortality rates with general population rates and examined mortality patterns by facility, duration of employment, time since first employment, and work activity.

Results:

Employees had lower-than-expected mortality overall (6579 observed deaths, standardized mortality ratio [SMR] = 65; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 64–67), for all cancers combined (2159 observed, SMR = 78, 95% CI = 75–81) and for other major diseases. Central nervous system cancer was associated with process equipment maintenance at one of the semiconductor facilities (10 observed, SMR = 247, 95% CI = 118–454). Prostate cancer was associated with facilities/laboratories at the storage device facility (18 observed, SMR = 198, (5% CI = 117–313).

Conclusions:

Further evaluation of workplace exposures or independent investigations of similar occupational groups may clarify the interpretation of associations observed in this study

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