Mortality Among Hardmetal Production Workers: Pooled Analysis of Cohort Data From an International Investigation

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Abstract

Objectives:

Based on a pooled analysis of data from an international study, evaluate total and cause-specific mortality among hardmetal production workers with emphasis on lung cancer.

Methods:

Study members were 32,354 workers from three companies and 17 manufacturing sites in five countries. We computed standardized mortality ratios and evaluated exposure-response via relative risk regression analysis.

Results:

Among long-term workers, we observed overall deficits or slight excesses in deaths for total mortality, all cancers, and lung cancer and found no evidence of any exposure-response relationships for lung cancer.

Conclusions:

We found no evidence that duration, average intensity, or cumulative exposure to tungsten, cobalt, or nickel, at levels experienced by the workers examined, increases lung cancer mortality risks. We also found no evidence that work in these facilities increased mortality risks from any other causes of death.

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