Cancer experience among coke by-product workers

Ann N Y Acad Sci. 1976;271:102-15. doi: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.1976.tb23099.x.


This paper presents the site-specific cancer mortality, 1953-1966, for men employed in by-product coke plants in Allegheny County, Pa. Approximate relative risks, which take into account race, age, and calendar years of follow-up, have been calculated for various work areas of the coke plant. The major findings are: 1. As indicated previously by Lloyd and Redmond, men with five or more years at the coke ovens have an excess risk of dying from lung cancer and kidney cancer. 2. Cancers of the digestive system are significantly elevated in nonoven workers. Cancers of two sites, the colon and pancreas, account for the total excess in cancers of the digestive system. 3. Cancers of the buccal cavity and pharynx appear high in nonoven workers, although the number of deaths involved is small. These observations clearly indicate the need to consider nonoven as well as oven workers when evaluating cancer hazards in the coke plant.

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Coal / toxicity*
  • Coke / toxicity*
  • Colonic Neoplasms / mortality
  • Ethnic Groups
  • Humans
  • Kidney Neoplasms / mortality
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Lung Neoplasms / mortality
  • Male
  • Neoplasms / chemically induced*
  • Occupational Diseases / chemically induced*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / mortality
  • Pennsylvania
  • Respiratory Tract Neoplasms / mortality
  • Risk
  • Time Factors


  • Coal
  • Coke