Cancer mortality among workers exposed to chemicals during uranium processing

J Occup Environ Med. 1999 Jul;41(7):556-66. doi: 10.1097/00043764-199907000-00004.


Data provided by the Comprehensive Epidemiology Data Resource allowed us to study patterns of cancer mortality as experienced by 3814 uranium-processing workers employed at the Fernald Feed Materials Production Center in Fernald, Ohio. Using risk-set analyses for cohorts, we estimated the effects of exposure to trichloroethylene, cutting fluids, and kerosene on cancer mortality. Our results suggest that workers who were exposed to trichloroethylene experienced an increase in mortality from cancers of the liver. Cutting-fluid exposure was found to be strongly associated with laryngeal cancers and, furthermore, with brain, hemato- and lymphopoietic system, bladder, and kidney cancer mortality. Kerosene exposure increased the rate of death from several digestive-tract cancers (esophageal, stomach, pancreatic, colon, and rectal cancers) and from prostate cancer. Effect estimates for these cancers increased with duration and level of exposure and were stronger when exposure was lagged.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cohort Studies
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Industrial Oils / adverse effects*
  • Kerosene / adverse effects*
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Neoplasms / chemically induced
  • Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Occupational Diseases / chemically induced
  • Occupational Diseases / mortality*
  • Occupational Exposure / adverse effects*
  • Ohio / epidemiology
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Radiation Dosage
  • Smoking / epidemiology
  • Trichloroethylene / adverse effects*
  • Uranium*


  • Kerosene
  • Trichloroethylene
  • Uranium