Surveillance of mortality and cancer incidence among Swedish graphite electrode workers.

Research paper by P P Gustavsson, T T Bellander, L L Johansson, S S Salmonsson

Indexed on: 01 Jul '95Published on: 01 Jul '95Published in: Environmental Research


Mortality and cancer incidence were investigated among 901 workers at a Swedish company manufacturing graphite electrodes. Current and previous measurements of personal exposure to benzo[a]pyrene were used to calculate individual exposure estimates. Smoking habits were investigated by questionnaire. There were 42 deaths during the study period (1968-1989), whereas 32.3 would be expected, based on age, sex, time, and county-specific population statistics. Three cancers of the respiratory system were found vs 1.2 expected. The overall mortality was slightly elevated, mainly due to an increased number of deaths from external causes. Thus far, no excess risk of cancer has been documented in this cohort. The results indicate that an increased risk of respiratory cancer may be present, but influence from chance cannot be ruled out due to small numbers. The cohort will be under continued surveillance.