Cancer incidence among union carpenters in New Jersey

J Occup Environ Med. 2003 Oct;45(10):1059-67. doi: 10.1097/01.jom.0000085892.01486.6a.


A cohort of 13,354 male union carpenters in New Jersey was linked to cancer registry data to investigate cancer incidence during 1979 through 2000. Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results data were used to calculate standardized incidence ratios (SIRs). A total of 592 incident cancers were observed among this cohort (SIR=1.07), which was not statistically in excess. However, significant excesses were observed for cancers of the digestive system and peritoneum (SIR=1.24) and the respiratory system (SIR=1.52). Workers in the union more than 30 years were at significant risk for cancers of the digestive organs and peritoneum (SIR=3.98), rectum (SIR=4.85), trachea, bronchus, and lung (SIR=4.56), and other parts of the respiratory system (SIR=11.00). Testicular cancer was significantly in excess (SIR=2.48) in analyses that lagged results 15 years from initial union membership. Additional etiologic research is needed to evaluate possible occupational and nonoccupational risk factors for testicular cancer.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cohort Studies
  • Construction Materials / toxicity*
  • Digestive System Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Dust
  • Genital Neoplasms, Male / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Labor Unions
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / classification
  • Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • New Jersey / epidemiology
  • Occupational Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Occupational Diseases / etiology
  • Occupational Exposure / adverse effects*
  • Respiratory Tract Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • SEER Program
  • Time Factors
  • Wood


  • Dust