Cancer mortality and incidence in cement industry workers in Korea

Cement contains hexavalent Cr, which is a human carcinogen. However, its effect on cancer seems inconclusive in epidemiological studies. The aim of this retrospective cohort study was to elucidate the association between dust exposure in the cement industry and cancer occurrence. The cohorts consisted of male workers in 6 Portland cement factories in Korea. Study subjects were classified into five groups by job: quarry, production, maintenance, laboratory, and office work. Cancer mortality and incidence in workers were observed from 1992 to 2007 and 1997-2005, respectively. Standardised mortality ratios and standardised incidence ratios were calculated according to the five job classifications. The results demonstrated that there was an increased standardised incidence ratio for stomach cancer of 1.56 (27/17.36, 95% confidence interval: 1.02 2.26) in production workers. The standardised mortality ratio for lung cancer increased in production workers. However, it was not statistically significant. The authors’ result suggests a potential association between cement exposure and stomach cancer. Hexavalent Cr contained in cement might be a causative carcinogen.

Authors: Koh, Dong-Hee; Kim, Tae-Woo; Jang, Seung Hee; Ryu, Hyang-Woo ;Full Source: SH&W2011, 2(3), 243-249 (Eng) ;