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Mortality Among Titanium Dioxide Workers at Three DuPont Plants

Ellis, Elizabeth D. PhD; Watkins, Janice MS; Tankersley, William MS; Phillips, Joyce BS; Girardi, David BS

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: March 2010 - Volume 52 - Issue 3 - p 303-309
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e3181d0bee2
Original Articles

Objective: To evaluate the mortality among workers employed at three titanium dioxide plants in the United States.

Methods: We expanded and updated a cohort employed at titanium dioxide plants. Cause-specific standardized mortality ratios (SMRs) were calculated combined and stratified by plant for workers employed at least 6 months between 1935 and 2005.

Results: No indications of excess mortality from any cause were found. All causes SMR increased with length of plant operation as did most cause-specific SMRs. With lung, the target organ of interest, no increases in malignant or nonmalignant respiratory disease were observed.

Conclusions: The mortality rates are comparable with the general US population. Increasing SMRs with length of plant operation is indicative of waning healthy worker effect with time since first employment. The results are comparable with other titanium dioxide cohort studies.

From the Center for Epidemiologic Research, Oak Ridge Associated Universities, Oak Ridge, Tenn.

Address correspondence to: Elizabeth D. Ellis, PhD, Oak Ridge Associated Universities, Center for Epidemiologic Research, P.O. Box 117, MS 45, Oak Ridge, TN 37831-0117; E-mail:

©2010The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine