Mortality of a cohort of U.S. workers employed in the crushed stone industry, 1940-1980

Am J Ind Med. 1995 May;27(5):625-40. doi: 10.1002/ajim.4700270502.


The mortality of 3,246 males who had been employed 1 or more years during 1940-1980 at 20 crushed stone operations was evaluated for possible association between employment and death from lung cancer, pneumoconiosis, and other respiratory diseases. Four deaths were attributed to pneumoconiosis. Based on available work histories, at least two of these deaths were probably due to dust exposures in the crushed stone industry. Mortality attributed to pneumoconiosis and other nonmalignant respiratory diseases, including chronic obstructive lung disease, was significantly increased overall (SMR: 1.98; 95% CI: 1.21-3.05), and especially so for a subcohort of crushed stone workers that processed granite (SMR: 7.26; 95% CI: 1.97-18.59). With regard to lung cancer, overall SMRs were elevated (although not statistically significant). Analyzed by rock type, there was a significantly elevated lung cancer SMR among granite workers with at least 20 years latency (SMR: 3.35; 95% CI: 1.34-6.90). Although not definitive, results of this study are consistent with the hypothesis that exposure to respirable silica dust is a risk factor for lung cancer.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Cohort Studies
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Dust*
  • Humans
  • Lung Diseases, Obstructive / etiology
  • Lung Diseases, Obstructive / mortality*
  • Lung Neoplasms / etiology
  • Lung Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Male
  • Mesothelioma / etiology
  • Mesothelioma / mortality*
  • Mining*
  • Occupational Diseases / etiology
  • Occupational Diseases / mortality*
  • Occupational Exposure
  • Pneumoconiosis / etiology
  • Pneumoconiosis / mortality*
  • Risk Factors
  • Silicon Dioxide*
  • Survival Rate
  • United States / epidemiology


  • Dust
  • Silicon Dioxide