Cancer by industry: analysis of a population-based cancer registry with an emphasis on blue-collar workers

Am J Ind Med. 1991;19(2):145-59. doi: 10.1002/ajim.4700190203.


This paper uses information on occupation and industry routinely collected in a state-based cancer registry to assess potential associations between work place exposures and cancer incidence. Industry-specific proportional cancer incidence ratios (PCIR) were calculated by race and sex for all individuals and for white males with blue-collar occupations. Expected numbers of cancers were derived both from cancers occurring among all occupations and just among blue-collar occupations. This latter analysis was done as a control for differences in the prevalence of life-style habits between blue- and white-collar workers. Increased lung cancer PCIR were seen in most industries previously reported to be associated with lung cancer risk. The effects of socioeconomic status on these results are discussed. Other results include an increased ratio of melanoma in blue-collar white male rubber and plastic product workers, an increased ratio of non-Hodgkin's lymphomas in motor vehicle manufacture workers, and an increased PCIR of chronic lymphocytic leukemia in general construction workers. Uterine cancer was increased in proportion in white females for a number of industries including rubber and plastic product manufacture, apparel manufacture, and electrical equipment manufacture.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Industry*
  • Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • New Jersey / epidemiology
  • Occupational Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Occupational Exposure
  • Occupations*
  • Registries
  • Risk Factors