Background: The current study evaluates the mortality of 2,354 workers first employed at a Baltimore chromate production plant between 1950 and 1974.
Methods: The National Death Index (NDI Plus) was used to determine vital status and cause of death. Cumulative chromium (VI) exposure and nasal and skin irritation were evaluated as risk factors for lung cancer mortality.
Results: There are 91,186 person-years of observation and 217 lung cancer deaths. Cumulative chromium (VI) exposure, nasal irritation, nasal perforation, nasal ulceration, and other forms of irritation (e.g., skin irritation) were associated with lung cancer mortality.
Conclusion: Cumulative chromium (VI) exposure was a risk factor for lung cancer death. Cancer deaths, other than lung cancer, were not significantly elevated. Irritation may be a possible mechanism for chromium (VI)-induced lung cancer.
Keywords: chromium (III); chromium (VI); irritation; lung cancer; smoking.
© 2015 The Authors. American Journal of Industrial Medicine Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc.