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Cancer Mortality in a Cohort of Continuous Glass Filament Workers

Pira, Enrico MD; Manzari, Marco MD; Gallus, Silvano ScD; Negri, Eva ScD; Bosetti, Cristina ScD; Romano, Canzio MD; McLaughlin, Joseph K. PhD; Boffetta, Paolo MD; La Vecchia, Carlo MD

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: February 2009 - Volume 51 - Issue 2 - p 239-242
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e318193fd0d
Original Articles

Objective. To examine cancer mortality in continuous glass filament workers.

Methods. A cohort of 936 continuous glass filament workers employed in a plant from northern Italy since January 1976 was followed-up through December 2003, for a total of 19,987 man-years.

Results. Overall, 144 deaths were observed compared with 160.8 expected based on regional death rates (standardized mortality ratio [SMR] = 0.90, 95% CI = 0.76 to 1.05). There were 53 deaths from all cancers (SMR = 1.01, 95% CI = 0.75 to 1.32), and 21 from lung cancer (SMR = 1.23, 95% CI = 0.76 to 1.89). There was no consistent relation with risk for age at first employment, time since first or last employment, or duration of employment for any of the causes considered.

Conclusions. Although limited in size, this study provides no evidence that continuous glass filament workers experience a significant increased risk of cancer, including respiratory cancer.

From the Dipartimento di Traumatologia (Dr Pira, Dr Manzari, Dr Romano), Ortopedia e Medicina del Lavoro, Università di Torino, Turin; Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche “Mario Negri” (Dr Gallus, Dr Negri, Dr Bosetti, Dr La Vecchia) Milan, Italy; International Epidemiology Institute (Dr McLaughlin), Rockville, Md; Vanderbilt University Medical Center (Dr McLaughlin, Dr La Vecchia), Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center, Nashville, Tenn; International Agency for Research on Cancer (Dr Boffetta), Lyon, France; and Istituto di Statistica Medica e Biometria “G.A. Maccacaro” (Dr La Vecchia), Università degli Studi di Milano, Milan, Italy.

EP had worked as consultant for Saint Gobain.

The work of this paper was undertaken while CLV was a Senior Fellow at the International Agency for Research on Cancer.

Address correspondence to: Cristina Bosetti, ScD, Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche “Mario Negri,” Via Giuseppe La Masa 19, 20156 Milan, Italy; E-mail:

©2009The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine