Lifetime cumulative exposure to rubber dust, fumes and N-nitrosamines and non-cancer mortality: a 49-year follow-up of UK rubber factory workers

Mira Hidajat, Damien Martin McElvenny, Peter Ritchie, Andrew Darnton, William Mueller, Raymond M Agius, John W Cherrie, Frank de Vocht

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Abstract

Objectives
To examine associations between occupational exposures to rubber dust, rubber fumes, and N-Nitrosamines and non-cancer disease mortality.

Methods
A cohort of 36,441 males aged 35+ years employed in British rubber factories was followed-up to 2015 (94% deceased). Competing risk survival analysis was used to assess risks of dying from non-cancer diseases (respiratory, urinary, cerebrovascular, circulatory, and digestive diseases). Occupational exposures to rubber dust, rubber fumes, N-Nitrosamines were derived based on a population-specific quantitative job-exposure matrix which in-turn was based on measurements in the EU-EXASRUB database.

Results
Exposure-response associations of increased risk with increasing exposure were found for N-Nitrosomorpholine with mortality from circulatory diseases (Sub-hazard ratio (SHR) 1.2; 95%CI 1.1-1.2), ischaemic heart disease (IHD) (SHR 1.2; 95%CI 1.1-1.3), cerebrovascular disease (SHR 1.2; 95%CI 1.1-1.3), and exposures to N-Nitrosodimethylamine with respiratory disease mortality (SHR 1.4; 95%CI 1.3-1.5). Increased risks for mortality from circulatory disease, IHD, and digestive diseases were found with higher levels of exposures to rubber dust, rubber fumes, and N-Nitrosamines sum, without an exposure-dependent manner. No associations were observed between rubber dust, rubber fumes, and N-Nitrosamines exposures with mortality from asthma, urinary disease, bronchitis, emphysema, liver disease, and some digestive diseases.

Conclusions
In a cohort of rubber factory workers with 49 years of follow-up, increased risk for mortality from chronic circulatory, cerebrovascular, respiratory and digestive diseases were found to be associated with cumulative occupational exposures to specific agents.
Original languageEnglish
JournalOccupational and Environmental Medicine
Early online date23 Jan 2020
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 23 Jan 2020

Bibliographical note

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Keywords

  • COHORT
  • RUBBER
  • rubber manufacturing industry
  • occupational health
  • epidemiology
  • MORTALITY

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