The aim of this study was to update a cohort of Vermont talc
workers to include 37 additional years of follow-up time.
Standardized mortality ratios (SMR) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated for 70+ causes of death. US population mortality rates were used as reference.
All-cause mortality was 30% higher than the US population (SMR 133.4, 95% CI, 119.7 to 148.3). Significant elevations occurred in nonmalignant respiratory disease
(NMRD) (SMR 273.0, 95% CI, 210.2 to 348.6) and other nonmalignant respiratory disease
(ONMRD) (SMR 413.1, 95% CI, 287.7 to 574.5). ONMRD was elevated across all length of employment categories and a test for linear trend was significant (P
This study provides further evidence that excess deaths among Vermont talc
workers are due largely to excess mortality from NMRD; there is no evidence of increased risk of respiratory cancer.