Mortality of workers in styrene-butadiene polymer production

J Occup Med. 1987 Aug;29(8):675-80.


A total of 13,920 males who had worked in eight styrene-butadiene rubber polymer manufacturing plants in the US and Canada for at least 1 year were followed for deaths from 1943 when the industry began to 1979. Mortality ratios standardized for age, race, and calendar time using US male rates as a comparison revealed no excess mortality in this population for any cause of death. The overall standardized mortality ratio (SMR) for all causes was 0.81. Only the SMR for arteriosclerotic heart disease among black males showed a significant excess (SMR = 1.28). Examination of risks by major work areas such as production, utilities, maintenance, and other jobs, as well as by salaried and hourly pay grade, revealed no significant differences in cancer mortality by specific sites. Because the ratios for selected digestive cancers were above the all-cause SMR, this group of neoplasms is under further investigation as is the exposure profile of specific jobs within the industry.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Butadienes / adverse effects
  • Chemical Industry*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / mortality
  • Occupational Diseases / mortality*
  • Polymers
  • Rubber / adverse effects*
  • Styrenes / adverse effects
  • United States


  • Butadienes
  • Polymers
  • Styrenes
  • Rubber