A proportionate mortality ratio (PMR) analysis of 1071 deaths in pulp and paper mill workers in New Hampshire during 1975-85 showed an increase in cancers of the digestive tract and lymphopoietic tissues. A similar analysis of deaths for 452 timber cutters and loggers failed to show excess PMRs for cancers of these sites. Despite methodological constraints, these results suggest that one or more of the exposures experienced by pulp and paper mill workers may pose a significant carcinogenic risk. More definitive epidemiological studies are required to determine particular high risk processes or specific aetiological agents.
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