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      Mortality of paint and coatings industry workers. A follow-up study.

      Journal of occupational medicine. : official publication of the Industrial Medical Association

      California, Cerebrovascular Disorders, mortality, Colonic Neoplasms, Humans, Leukemia, Liver Neoplasms, Lung Neoplasms, Mortality, Occupational Diseases, Paint, Rectal Neoplasms, Risk, Skin Neoplasms

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          Extensive follow-up of production workers in the paint and coatings industry failed to indicate any important hazard that was previously unsuspected. The authors are more confident of the results of their original study since studying a subsample of persons lost to follow-up in the original study. Some efforts to investigate certain diseases (skin and liver cancer) more vigorously met with failure, which illustrates the problem of attempting retrospective studies by using death certificates for case ascertainment. Of the successful studies, the leukemia case-control analysis showed a possible relationship to lacquer production, which probably included benzene exposure. For lung cancer, no exposure category was associated with increased risk. The bowel cancer excesses, concentrated in three plants, are probably not job related and in any case do not represent an industry-wide problem. Cerebrovascular accidents showed a mild elevation of risk for vehicle workers. Although strong statements concerning the safety of this industry probably await more studies or further follow-up of this cohort, there is every indication that it is an industry without a major excess of any job-related disease. In drawing this conclusion, however, one must be aware that an individual job or individual plant could harbor health problems that would not be detected by a study of this type.

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