Cancer mortality among woodworkers

Am J Ind Med. 1984;5(5):343-57. doi: 10.1002/ajim.4700050503.


The mortality experience of 10,322 men employed in woodworking industries was compared with that of 406,798 nonwoodworkers. All subjects were enrolled in an American Cancer Society study and followed prospectively from 1959 through 1972. Age-adjusted rates of death from all causes and from all cancers were not higher in the woodworker group, but excess rates were observed for cancers of the lung, stomach, and bladder, as well as nonmelanoma skin cancer and possibly leukemia. Woodworkers experienced significantly decreased rates of colon-rectum cancer and coronary heart disease. The elevated cancer rates could not be explained by cigarette smoking habits. If anything, there is evidence to suggest a possible interaction between employment in woodworking trades and heavy cigarette smoking, in increasing the risk of lung and bladder cancer.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Asbestos / adverse effects
  • Dust / adverse effects
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / etiology
  • Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Occupational Diseases / etiology
  • Occupational Diseases / mortality*
  • Occupations
  • Risk
  • Smoking
  • Solvents / poisoning
  • United States
  • Wood*


  • Dust
  • Solvents
  • Asbestos