Extended followup of a cohort of chromium production workers

Am J Ind Med. 2015 Aug;58(8):905-13. doi: 10.1002/ajim.22479. Epub 2015 Jun 4.


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Baltimore / epidemiology
  • Chromium / toxicity*
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / chemically induced
  • Lung Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Male
  • Metallurgy / statistics & numerical data*
  • Middle Aged
  • Nose Diseases / chemically induced
  • Nose Diseases / complications
  • Occupational Diseases / chemically induced
  • Occupational Diseases / mortality*
  • Occupational Exposure / adverse effects*
  • Risk Factors
  • Skin Diseases / chemically induced
  • Skin Diseases / complications
  • Time Factors


  • Chromium