BACKGROUND - Increased cancer risk has been reported among workers in the rubber manufacturing industry employed before the 1960s. It is unclear whether risk remains increased among workers hired subsequently. The present study focused on risk of cancer mortality for rubber workers first employed since 1975 in 64 factories.
PATIENTS AND METHODS - Anonymised data from cohorts of rubber workers employed for at least one year from Germany, Italy, Poland, Sweden and the United Kingdom were pooled. Standardised mortality ratios (SMRs), based on country-specific death rates, were reported for bladder and lung cancer (primary outcomes of interest), for other selected cancer sites, and for cancer sites with a minimum of 10 deaths in men or women. Analyses stratified by type of industry, period and duration of employment were performed.
RESULTS - 38,457 individuals (29,768 men; 8,689 women) contributed to 949,370 person-years. No increased risk of bladder cancer was observed (SMR=0.80, 95%CI (0.46; 1.38)). The risk of lung cancer death was reduced (SMR=0.81, 95%CI (0.70; 0.94)). No statistically significant increased risk was observed for any other cause of death. A reduced risk was evident for total cancer mortality (SMR=0.81, 95%CI (0.76; 0.87)). Risks were lower for workers in the tyre industry compared to workers in the general rubber goods sector. Analysis by employment duration showed a negative trend with SMRs decreasing with increasing duration of employment. In an analysis of secondary endpoints, when stratified by type of industry and period of first employment, excess risks of myeloma and gastric cancer were observed each due, essentially, to results from one centre.
CONCLUSIONS - No consistent increased risk of cancer death was observed among rubber workers first employed since 1975, no overall analysis of the pooled cohort produced significantly increased risk. Continued surveillance of the present cohorts is required to confirm absence of long-term risk.
Annals of oncology : official journal of the European Society for Medical Oncology / ESMO. 2016 Feb 15 [Epub ahead of print]
M Boniol, A Koechlin, B Świątkowska, T Sorahan, J Wellmann, D Taeger, K Jakobsson, E Pira, P Boffetta, C La Vecchia, C Pizot, P Boyle
University of Strathclyde Institute of Global Public Health, Lyon ouest Ecully, France International Prevention Research Institute, iPRI, Lyon, France University of Strathclyde Institute of Global Public Health, Lyon ouest Ecully, France International Prevention Research Institute, iPRI, Lyon, France., Department of Environmental Epidemiology, Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine, Lodz, Poland., Institute of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, University of Birmingham, United Kingdom., Institute of Epidemiology and Social Medicine, University of Muenster, Germany., Institute for Prevention and Occupational Medicine of the German Social Accident Insurance, Institute of the Ruhr-Universität Bochum (IPA), Germany., Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Lund University, Sweden., Department of Public Health Sciences and Pediatrics, University of Turin, Italy., Tisch Cancer Institute, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, USA., Department of Clinical Sciences and Community Health, Università degli Studi di Milano, Italy., International Prevention Research Institute, iPRI, Lyon, France., University of Strathclyde Institute of Global Public Health, Lyon ouest Ecully, France International Prevention Research Institute, iPRI, Lyon, France.