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Extended Cancer Mortality Follow-Up of a German Rubber Industry Cohort

Vlaanderen, Jelle PhD; Taeger, Dirk PhD; Wellman, Jürgen PhD; Keil, Ulrich MD, PhD; Schüz, Joachim PhD; Straif, Kurt MD, PhD

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: August 2013 - Volume 55 - Issue 8 - p 966–972
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e31829540f4
Original Articles

Objective: We extended follow-up of a cohort of German rubber industry workers (active or retired in 1981) by 9 years (1992 to 2000) to reassess previously observed cancer mortality risks.

Methods: We calculated standardized mortality ratios and stratified results by work area, duration of employment, and year of hire.

Results: The cohort includes 11,632 men and 1863 women from five tire or general rubber goods producing factories. Among men we observed significantly elevated standardized mortality ratios for cancers of the lung and the pleura in the full cohort and in specific strata. Among women we observed a significantly elevated standardized mortality ratio for cancer of the lung. Conclusions: We observed excess risk for several cancer sites among men and women. Further cancer risk analysis of workers in the rubber industry should focus on differences in work areas and associated exposures.

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From the Section of Environment and Radiation (Drs Vlaanderen and Schüz), International Agency for Research on Cancer, Lyon, France; Institute for Prevention and Occupational Medicine of the German Social Accident Insurance (Dr Taeger), Institute of the Ruhr-Universität Bochum (IPA), Germany; Institute of Epidemiology and Social Medicine (Drs Wellman and Keil), University of Münster, Germany; and Section of IARC Monographs (Dr Straif), International Agency for Research on Cancer, Lyon, France.

Address correspondence to: Kurt Straif, MD, PhD, Section of IARC Monographs, International Agency for Research on Cancer, 150 Cours Albert Thomas, 69372 Lyon CEDEX 08, France (

The study was funded and supported by the Berufsgenossenschaft der Chemischen Industrie (now German Social Accident Insurance Institution for the Raw Materials and Chemical Industry), Heidelberg, and the Wirtschaftsverband der deutschen Kautschukindustrie e V, Frankfurt/M.

Supplemental digital contents are available for this article. Direct URL citations appear in the printed text and are provided in the HTML and PDF versions of this article on the journal's Web site (

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Copyright © 2013 by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine