Increased risk of lung cancer in the melting department of a second ontario steel manufacturer
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A study of lung cancer among workers at an electric arc steel making operation was performed to follow up on the observation of a lung cancer cluster in the melt shop of another plant. The study group comprised 335 deceased men identified from plant records. Eight of thirty men who had ever worked in the pouring pit area died of lung cancer (PMR 276; p less than 0.01), but increased risk was not found elsewhere in the melting department. There was a significant trend in lung cancer risk with the length of employment in the pit area during a time window 18-30 years before death. Smoking data suggested that smoking alone could not account for the increased risk. An industrial hygiene assessment found present exposures to carcinogenic metals and silica to be within current guidelines. No polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons were detected. This is the second steel plant for which we have found increased lung cancer risk in the pouring areas. The causative factors have not yet been identified.
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