Advertisement

Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

An updated cohort mortality study of workers at a northeastern United States petroleum refinery

  • 102 Accesses

  • 31 Citations

Abstract

An update of a cohort study of 4855 employees at a Paulsboro, New Jersey refinery was conducted to further examine mortality patterns. The earlier study investigated refinery workers employed for a minimum of 1 year between 1 January 1946 and 1 January 1979. The vital status of these workers was ascertained through 1979. The update extended enrollment in the study and vital status follow-up for an additional 8 years (1980–1987). As in the previous study, mortality from all causes [standardized mortality ratio (SMR) = 87; 95% confidence interval (95% CI): 83–91] was significantly lower than expected compared with the general population. Total cancer mortality was also lower than expected (SMR = 96; 95% CI: 86–106). A borderline significant mortality increase in prostatic cancer was found (SMR = 144; 95% CI: 106–190). This increase was similar to the nonsignificant increase reported in the original study (SMR = 135; 95% CI: 90–196). The excess was of comparable magnitude among white males and nonwhite males, although it was not significant for the latter. Detailed analysis indicated that the prostatic cancer was not likely to be related to employment at the refinery. Mortality from lymphatic and hematopoietic cancers was similar to the expected mortality. Mortality from overall leukemia was as expected and detailed analyses by specific cell type showed no increase. An increase in mortality occurred from non-Hodgkin's lymphoma among male workers (SMR = 132; 95% CI: 74–217). The increase was not statistically significant and unlikely to be associated with refinery employment. Mortality from multiple myeloma among male employees was lower than expected (SMR = 74; 95% CI: 20–190). Mortality from asbestos-related diseases (pulmonary fibrosis, lung cancer, malignant mesothelioma) was also lower than expected among male workers. No cause-specific mortality was found to be associated with duration of employment at the refinery, including several causes which have been reported to be elevated in previous studies. The findings of this updated study indicate, as in the previous report, the generally favorable mortality experience of Paulsboro refinery workers.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

References

  1. Antman KH, Corson LM (1985) Benign and malignant pleural mesothelioma. Clin Chest Med 6:127–140

  2. Breslow NE, Lubin JH, Marek P, Langholz B (1983) Multiplicative models and cohort analysis. J Am Stat Assoc 78:1–12

  3. Briselli M, Mark EJ, Duckersin GR (1981) Solitary fibrous tumors of the pleura: eight new cases and review of 360 cases in the literature. Cancer 47:2678–2689

  4. Cartwright RA, McKinney PA, O'Brien C, Richards IDG, Roberts B, Lauder I, Darwin CM, Bernard SM, Bird CC (1988) Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma: case control epidemiological study in Yorkshire. Leuk Res 12:81–88

  5. Collingwood KW, Milcarek BI, Raabe GK (1991) A retrospective cohort mortality study of blending and packaging workers of Mobil Corporation. Am J Ind Med 20:343–352

  6. Connelly RR, Spritas R, Myers MH, Percy CL, Fraumeni JF (1987) Demographic patterns for mesothelioma in the United States. J Natl Cancer Inst 78:1053–1060

  7. Franceschi S, Serraino D, Bidoli E, Talamini R, Tirelli U, Carbone A, La Vecchia C (1989) The epidemiology of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in the north-east of Italy: a hospital based case-control study. Leuk Res 13:465–472

  8. Heshmat MY, Kaui L, Kovi J, Jackson AG, Jones GW, Edson M, Enterline P, Worrell RG, Perry SL (1985) Nutrition and prostate cancer: a case-control study. Prostate 6:7–17

  9. Hill P, Wynder EL, Garbaczewski L, Garnes H, Walker AR (1982) Response to luteinizing releasing hormone, thyrotrophic releasing hormone, and human chronic gonadotrophin administration in healthy men at different risks for prostatic cancer and in prostatic cancer patients. Cancer Res 42:2074–2080

  10. Hoar SK, Blair A, Holmes FF, Boysen CD, Robel RJ, Hoover R, Fraumeni JF (1986) Agricultural herbicide use and risk of lymphoma and soft-tissue sarcoma. JAMA 256:1141–1147

  11. Kolonel LN, Yoshizawa CN, Hankin JH (1988) Diet and prostatic cancer: a case-control study in Hawaii. Am J Epidemiol 127:999–1012

  12. Krain LS (1974) Some epidemiologic variables in prostatic carcinoma in California. Prev Med 3:154–159

  13. Marsh GM, Preininger M (1980) OCMAP: a user-oriented occupational cohort mortality analysis program. Am Stat 34:245–246

  14. McDonald JA (1986) A case-control study of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. PhD dissertation, Department of Epidemiology, University of Washington

  15. Mettlin C, Selenskas N, Natarajan N, Huben R (1989) Beta-carotene and animal fats and their relationship to prostate cancer risk. Cancer 64:605–612

  16. Milcarek BI, Collingwood KW, Raabe GK (1994) An updated cohort mortality study of white male workers at the Torrance, California refinery, 1959–1987. Mobil Oil Corporation

  17. Monson R (1987) Memorandum—USDR users. Harvard University School of Public Health, Department of Epidemiology

  18. Morgan RW, Wong O (1985) An epidemiologic analysis of the mortality experience of Mobil Oil Corporation employees at the Paulsboro, New Jersey refinery. Technical report submitted to Mobil Oil Corporation

  19. Pearce NE, Sheppard RA, Smith AH, Teague CA (1987) Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and farming: an expanded case-control study. Int J Cancer 39:155–161

  20. Pickle LW, Mason TJ, Howard N, Hoover R, Fraumeni IF (1987) Atlas of U.S. cancer mortality among whites: 1950–1980. DHHS Publication No. (NIH) 87–2900

  21. Raabe GK, Collingwood KW, Milcarek BI, Wong O (1995) An updated mortality study of Mobil Oil Corporation workers at the Beaumont, Texas refinery, 1945–1987

  22. Ross RK, Shimizu H, Paganini-Hill A, Honda G, Henderson BE (1987) Case-control studies of prostate cancer in blacks and whites in Southern California. J Natl Cancer Inst 78:869–874

  23. Satin KP, Yuan LA, Wong O, Bailey WJ, Newton KL, Wen CP, Dagg TG, Harmon LL (1994) An updated mortality study of Chevron's Port Arthur refinery, 1937–1987. Chevron Corporation

  24. Schumacher MC (1985) Farming occupations and mortality from non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in Utah. J Occup Med 27:580–584

  25. Schumacher MC, Delzell E (1988) A death-certificate case-control study of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and occupation in men in North Carolina. Am J Ind Med 13:317–330

  26. Selvin S, Levin LI, Merrill DW, Winkerstein W (1983) Selected epidemiologic observations of cell-specific leukemia mortality in the United States, 1969–1977. Am J Epidemiol 117:140–152

  27. Steele R, Lees RE, Krauss AS, Rao C (1971) Sexual factors in the epidemiology of cancer of the prostate. J Chron Dis 24:29–37

  28. Vianna NJ, Polan A (1979) Lymphomas and occupational benzene exposure. Lancet 1:1394–1395

  29. Weilbeacher TG, Sarma DP (1984) Localized fibrous mesothelioma of the pleura. J Surg Oncol 25:67–70

  30. Wilson JD, Braunmald E, Isselbacher KJ, Petersdorf RG, Martin JB, Fauci AS, Root RK (1991) Harrison's principles of internal medicine (12th edn). McGraw-Hill, New York

  31. Wong O, Raabe GK (1989) Critical review of cancer epidemiology in petroleum industry employees, with a quantitative meta-analysis by cancer site. Am J Ind Med 15:283–310

  32. Wong O, Raabe GK (1995) Cell-type specific leukemia analyses in a combined cohort of more than 208,000 petroleum workers in the United States and the United Kingdom, 1937–1989. Regul Toxicol Pharmacol 21:307–321

  33. Woods JS, Pollssar L, Serverson RK, Heuser LS, Kulander BG (1987) Soft-tissue sarcoma and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in relation to phenoxy herbicide and chlorinated phenol exposure in western Washington. J Natl Cancer Inst 78:899–910

  34. Workshop conference on the role of metals in carcinogenesis, 1980 (1981) Problems of epidemiological evidence. Environ Health Perspect 40:11–20

  35. World Health Organization (1967, 1968) Manual of the international statistical classification of diseases, injuries and causes of death, based on the recommendations of the eighth revision conference, 1965, and adopted by the nineteenth World Health Assembly, vols I and II. WHO, Geneva

  36. Zahm SH, Weisenburger DD, Babbitt PA, Saad RC, Vaught JB, Cantor KP, Blair A (1990) A case-control study of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and.the herbicide 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) in eastern Nebraska. Epidemiology 1:349–356

Download references

Author information

Correspondence to Kim W. Collingwood.

Additional information

The work for this study was performed at Mobil Corporate Medical Department

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Collingwood, K.W., Raabe, G.K. & Wong, O. An updated cohort mortality study of workers at a northeastern United States petroleum refinery. Int. Arch Occup Environ Heath 68, 277–288 (1996). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00409412

Download citation

Key words

  • Petroleum refinery workers
  • Cohort studies
  • Occupational mortality