Mortality among Ontario members of the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers
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BACKGROUND: Dust exposed workers may be at increased risk of pneumoconiosis, stomach cancer, lung cancer, and obstructive lung disease. Bricklayers may experience high exposures to silica and inorganic dusts. The aim of this study was to examine the mortality pattern of bricklayers to identify occupational associations with mortality. METHODS: A cohort of 10,953 workers was assembled from records of the International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers (IUBAC). Mortality was ascertained by linkage to the Canadian Mortality Registry at Statistics Canada. Standardized Mortality Ratios (SMRs) were computed using Ontario general population mortality rates as the reference. RESULTS: Twenty or more years from first membership, SMRs for lung (158; 130-190) and stomach (235; 140-370) cancers were significantly elevated. There were four deaths from pneumoconiosis, but non-malignant respiratory mortality SMRs were not increased. CONCLUSIONS: Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers are at risk from diseases associated with heavy exposure to inorganic dust: lung cancer, stomach cancer, and pneumoconiosis. Dust control as well as education and training of these workers to protect themselves against inhalation hazards is necessary.
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