Mortality of aircraft maintenance workers exposed to trichloroethylene and other hydrocarbons and chemicals: extended follow-up

J Occup Environ Med. 2008 Nov;50(11):1306-19. doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e3181845f7f.


Objective: To extend follow-up of 14,455 workers from 1990 to 2000, and evaluate mortality risk from exposure to trichloroethylene (TCE) and other chemicals.

Methods: Multivariable Cox models were used to estimate relative risk (RR) for exposed versus unexposed workers based on previously developed exposure surrogates.

Results: Among TCE-exposed workers, there was no statistically significant increased risk of all-cause mortality (RR = 1.04) or death from all cancers (RR = 1.03). Exposure-response gradients for TCE were relatively flat and did not materially change since 1990. Statistically significant excesses were found for several chemical exposure subgroups and causes and were generally consistent with the previous follow-up.

Conclusions: Patterns of mortality have not changed substantially since 1990. Although positive associations with several cancers were observed, and are consistent with the published literature, interpretation is limited due to the small numbers of events for specific exposures.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aircraft*
  • Cause of Death / trends
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Hydrocarbons / adverse effects
  • Maintenance
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Diseases / chemically induced*
  • Occupational Diseases / mortality*
  • Occupational Exposure / adverse effects*
  • Private Sector
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Risk Assessment / methods
  • Trichloroethylene / adverse effects*
  • Utah / epidemiology
  • Vital Statistics


  • Hydrocarbons
  • Trichloroethylene