Industry-wide study of mortality of pulp and paper mill workers

Am J Ind Med. 1998 Apr;33(4):354-65. doi: 10.1002/(sici)1097-0274(199804)33:4<354::aid-ajim5>;2-u.


A study of pulp and paper mill workers indicated low risks of death from all causes (standardized mortality ratio (SMR) = 0.74) and all cancers (SMR = 0.81) compared with U.S. rates. The leukemia death rate in workers was not higher than the U.S. rate but was higher than the rate in county populations surrounding mills. Workers whose last jobs were in the finishing areas of the mills had an elevated SMR for liver cancer. An internal comparison of occupational characteristics indicated that workers employed in mills using other chemical pulping operations had significantly elevated mortality from all causes, all cancers, heart disease, lymphomas, and brain cancers. Lung cancer mortality was elevated in mills using kraft pulping. The internal comparisons confirmed the association between work in finishing and the risk of liver cancer. This study was designed to investigate whether pulp and paper mill workers have any risks that would indicate the need for studies detailing exposures.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Cause of Death*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Industrial Waste / adverse effects*
  • Industry
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Occupational Diseases / mortality*
  • Paper*
  • Poisson Distribution
  • Regression Analysis
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Distribution
  • Survival Rate
  • United States / epidemiology


  • Industrial Waste