UK study finds ‘significant’ lung cancer rates in foundry workers

A study of over 10,000 steel foundry workers in England has found a significant increase in lung cancer and chronic bronchitis. The study found: “Mortality from lung cancer was significantly raised among workers employed in the foundry and fettling shop areas (standardized mortality ratios 142 and 173, respectively). Most occupational categories in these two areas had more lung cancer deaths than expected, but the standardized mortality ratios were the largest for the furnace bricklayers, fettlers, and heat treatment furnacemen. There was some evidence of risk increasing with length of employment.” The lung cancer risk appeared to have increased over the preceding 30 years, while the chronic bronchitis risk had fallen.

AC Fletcher and A Ades. Lung cancer mortality in a cohort of English steel foundry workers, Scandinavian Journal of Work Environment and Health, volume 10, number 1, pages 7-16, 1984.

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