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Long-Term Health Experience of Jet Engine Manufacturing Workers: VIIncidence of Malignant Central Nervous System Neoplasms in Relation to Estimated Workplace Exposures

Marsh, Gary M. PhD; Youk, Ada O. PhD; Buchanich, Jeanine M. PhD; Xu, Hui MS; Downing, Sarah BS; Kennedy, Kathleen J. MS; Esmen, Nurtan A. PhD; Hancock, Roger P. MCE; Lacey, Steven E. PhD; Fleissner, Mary Lou DrPH

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: June 2013 - Volume 55 - Issue 6 - p 654–675
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e3182749c4a
Original Articles

Objective: To determine whether glioblastoma (GB) incidence rates among jet engine manufacturing workers were associated with specific chemical or physical exposures.

Methods: Subjects were 210,784 workers employed from 1952 to 2001. We conducted a cohort incidence study and two nested case–control studies with focus on the North Haven facility where we previously observed a not statistically significant overall elevation in GB rates. We estimated individual-level exposure metrics for 11 agents.

Results: In the total cohort, none of the agent metrics considered was associated with increased GB risk. The GB incidence rates in North Haven were also not related to workplace exposures, including the “blue haze” exposure unique to North Haven.

Conclusions: If not due to chance alone, GB rates in North Haven may reflect external occupational factors, nonoccupational factors, or workplace factors unique to North Haven unmeasured in the current evaluation.

From the Center for Occupational Biostatistics and Epidemiology (Drs Marsh, Youk, and Buchanich and Ms Downing), Department of Biostatistics, Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Penn; Baylor Institute for Immunology Research (Ms Xu), Dallas, Tex; and Division of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences (Ms Kennedy, Drs Esmen and Lacey, and Mr Hancock), School of Public Health, University of Illinois at Chicago. Dr Fleissner was previously affiliated with the Division of Environmental Epidemiology and Occupational Health, Connecticut Department of Public Health, Hartford.

Address correspondence to: Gary M. Marsh, PhD, Department of Biostatistics, Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15261 (

The University of Pittsburgh and University of Illinois at Chicago received funding from Pratt & Whitney for this research, but the design, conduct, analysis, and conclusions are those of the authors. No conflicts of interest declared for M.L. Fleissner.

Disclosure: The authors declare no conflict of interest.

©2013The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine