An update of mortality among chemical workers exposed to benzene

Br J Ind Med. 1986 Oct;43(10):685-91. doi: 10.1136/oem.43.10.685.


Mortality was updated to the end of 1982 for 594 employees exposed to benzene who had been studied previously and for an additional 362 exposed workers not studied previously. Cause specific mortality comparisons were made using United States white male, age, and calendar year adjusted rates. Total mortality was observed to have been significantly below expectation, and this was particularly evident for deaths from accidental causes. Mortality from skin cancer was significantly raised, although there were no unusual or common characteristics among the affected individuals which would suggest a link with exposure to benzene. A non-significant excess of total deaths from leukaemia was noted based on four observed cases; however, all four were myelogenous leukaemias and this represented a significant excess in that subcategory. These and other deaths of possible interest are reviewed in detail. Analyses by work area, duration of exposure, and cumulative dose index did not show patterns suggestive of a causal association between exposure to benzene and any particular cause of death.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Benzene / adverse effects*
  • Chemical Industry*
  • Humans
  • Leukemia, Myeloid / chemically induced
  • Leukemia, Myeloid / mortality
  • Male
  • Michigan
  • Neoplasms / chemically induced
  • Neoplasms / mortality
  • Occupational Diseases / chemically induced
  • Occupational Diseases / mortality*
  • Time Factors


  • Benzene