Mortality of newspaper workers from lung cancer and bronchitis 1952-66

Br J Ind Med. 1972;29(1):1-14. doi: 10.1136/oem.29.1.1.


Moss, E., Scott, T. S., and Atherley, G. R. C. (1972).Brit. J. industr. Med,29, 1-14. Mortality of newspaper workers from lung cancer and bronchitis 1952-66. The mortality experience of 3 485 men who worked full-time in the newspaper printing industry in London and Manchester and died in the period 1952-66 has been analysed for occupation and cause of death.

There was an excess of deaths from cancer of the lung and bronchus (I.C.D. 162, 163) in printing trade workers as a whole compared with the male population of the region in which they worked, adjusted for age and calendar year of death. The excess was about 30% in London and about 40% in Manchester. Both these excesses are significant at the 1% level. In Manchester, but not in London, there was a concentration of excess (about 100%) in machine room men, again significant at the 1% level. White collar workers showed no difference between observed and expected deaths in London and only a small excess (20%, not significant at the 5% level) in Manchester.

There were small deficits of deaths from bronchitis (I.C.D. 500 to 502), about 10% for printing trade workers, and 30 to 40% for white collar workers, with little difference between London and Manchester. Neither deficit is significant at the 5% level because of the small numbers involved.

This survey does not provide any evidence about the cause of the overall small excess of deaths from lung cancer, which might or might not be occupational. The larger excess in the Manchester machine room men is more likely to be due to an occupational hazard.

MeSH terms

  • Bronchial Neoplasms / etiology
  • Bronchitis / etiology
  • Bronchitis / mortality*
  • England
  • Heart Diseases / mortality
  • Humans
  • London
  • Lung Neoplasms / etiology
  • Lung Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Male
  • Nervous System Diseases / mortality
  • Newspapers as Topic*
  • Occupational Diseases / etiology
  • Occupational Diseases / mortality*
  • Printing
  • Smoking / complications