Cancer mortality among rubber workers: an epidemiologic study

Ann N Y Acad Sci. 1976;271:125-37. doi: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.1976.tb23101.x.


Several previous epidemiologic studies of the rubber industry--an industry that uses many chemicals--have identified excess mortality from certain specific cancers. In this study, four cohorts of active and retired workers, at four major rubber-tire plants, were identified historically and followed for the ten-year period from 1964 to 1973. The cancer mortality of these four population was compared, separately and combined, with that of the general community. For all cancers combined, there was a slight excess above the expected number of deaths, whereas for some specific cancers (stomach, colon, prostate, and neoplasms of the lymphatic and hematopoietic system) there was a marked excess of deaths. Proportional mortality analysis at other small plants revealed similar excesses for these cancers, and some excess for lung, bladder, and CNS cancers. Analysis of detailed individual work histories reveals an association of certain cancers with specific job exposures; in particular, lymphatic leukemia and solvent exposure, and lung cancer and curing-room exposure. For both bladder cancer and stomach cancer, preliminary analyses indicate an association with groups of jobs in adjacent production stages (handling and mixing raw ingredients, and processing the "green" precured rubber, respectively). Further analytic studies are currently under way to identify groups of rubber workers at increased risk of other specific cancers.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Colonic Neoplasms / mortality
  • Epidemiologic Methods
  • Humans
  • Leukemia / mortality
  • Leukemia, Lymphoid / mortality
  • Lung Neoplasms / mortality
  • Lymphoma / mortality
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / chemically induced*
  • Occupational Diseases / chemically induced*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / mortality
  • Risk
  • Rubber / toxicity*
  • Stomach Neoplasms
  • Time Factors
  • United States
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / mortality


  • Rubber