Cancer mortality among a cohort of chromium pigment workers

Am J Ind Med. 1989;16(2):127-33. doi: 10.1002/ajim.4700160204.


A study of mortality among 1,879 male workers employed in a New Jersey chromium pigment factory was carried out, with follow-up from 1940 to 1982. Vital status of 1,737 (92%) of the eligible cohort members was determined. For all malignant neoplasms, 101 deaths were observed while 108.8 were expected, SMR = 93 (standardized mortality ratio; n.s.). For the entire study group, no significant excess was observed for respiratory cancer or cancer at other sites. However, the total number of years of employment in the factory and the total number of years of exposure to chromate dusts were both statistically significantly (p less than .05, for trend) associated with an increased risk for lung cancer. The excess risk for lung cancer associated with duration of exposure to chromate dusts was, however, only clearly apparent for subjects followed for 30 years or more after initial employment. For this group, the SMRs were 81, 139, 201, and 321 for the subjects with 0 years, less than 1 year, 1-9 years, and 10+ years of exposure to chromate dusts (p less than .01, for trend), respectively. The risk for digestive cancer was only weakly associated with exposure to chromate dusts.

MeSH terms

  • Chromium / adverse effects*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Digestive System Neoplasms / chemically induced*
  • Digestive System Neoplasms / mortality
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / chemically induced*
  • Lung Neoplasms / mortality
  • Male
  • New Jersey
  • Occupational Diseases / chemically induced*
  • Occupational Diseases / mortality
  • Pigments, Biological
  • Risk Factors
  • Time Factors


  • Pigments, Biological
  • Chromium