Mortality among workers in a shoe manufacturing company

Am J Ind Med. 1987;12(5):615-23. doi: 10.1002/ajim.4700120514.


Several epidemiologic studies have suggested that leather workers have an elevated risk of bladder cancer, nasal cancer, and leukemia. A case-control analysis of patient files at a large cancer treatment facility in New York State indicated that several bladder cancer patients had worked at a large shoe manufacturing company in upstate New York. A mortality study was initiated to determine whether there was an unusual cancer risk associated with employment in this facility. Because company records were not available, local newspaper obituaries were used to identify former company employees who died between 1960 and 1979. Proportionate mortality (PMR) analyses were conducted by using 4,734 death certificates and the general U.S. population for comparison. There were no excess deaths from nasal cancer or bladder cancer, and mortality from leukemia was slightly lower than expected. Increased relative frequencies of digestive cancers were seen among men and women. There were significant excesses of deaths from multiple myeloma among both men (PMR = 193) and women (PMR = 346).

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cause of Death*
  • Digestive System Neoplasms / mortality
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Leukemia / mortality
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Myeloma / mortality
  • Occupational Diseases / mortality*
  • Risk Factors
  • Shoes*
  • Tanning
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / mortality