Mortality patterns among workers exposed to acrylamide: updated follow up

J Occup Environ Med. 2007 Jan;49(1):82-95. doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e31802db536.


Objective: The objective of this study was to update the mortality experience of a cohort of workers with and without potential exposure to acrylamide (AMD) at three U.S. plants (n = 8508) and one plant in The Netherlands (n = 344).

Methods: We computed standardized mortality ratios (SMRs) using national and local rates and modeled internal cohort rates to assess site-specific cancer risks by demographic and work history factors and several exposure indicators for AMD.

Results: For the 1925-2002 study period, we observed both deficit and excess overall mortality risks among the U.S. cohort for cancer sites implicated in experimental animal studies: brain and other central nervous system (SMR = 0.67, confidence interval [CI] = 0.40-1.05), thyroid gland (SMR = 1.38, CI = 0.28-4.02), testis and other male genital organs (SMR = 0.64, CI = 0.08-2.30); and for sites selected in earlier exploratory analyses of this cohort: respiratory system cancer (RSC) (SMR = 1.17, CI = 1.06-1.27), esophagus (SMR = 1.20, CI = 0.86-1.63), rectum (SMR = 1.25, CI = 0.84-1.78), pancreas (SMR = 0.94, CI = 0.70-1.22), and kidney (SMR = 1.01, CI = 0.66-1.46). Except for RSC, attributed earlier to muriatic acid exposure, none of the mortality excesses was statistically significant. In the Dutch cohort, we observed deficits in deaths for all sites of a priori interest. An updated analysis of our previous exploratory findings for pancreatic cancer in the U.S. cohort revealed much less evidence of a possible exposure-response relationship with AMD.

Conclusion: AMD exposure at the levels present in our study sites was not associated with elevated cancer mortality risks.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acrylamide / adverse effects*
  • Cause of Death
  • Chemical Industry / statistics & numerical data*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Humans
  • Hydrochloric Acid / adverse effects
  • Male
  • Neoplasms / chemically induced
  • Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Netherlands / epidemiology
  • Occupational Diseases / chemically induced
  • Occupational Diseases / mortality*
  • Occupational Exposure / adverse effects*
  • Occupational Exposure / statistics & numerical data
  • Regression Analysis
  • Risk
  • United States / epidemiology


  • Acrylamide
  • Hydrochloric Acid