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Cancer mortality among workers in the Tuscan tanning industry.
  1. A S Costantini,
  2. E Paci,
  3. L Miligi,
  4. E Buiatti,
  5. C Martelli,
  6. S Lenzi
  1. Centro per lo Studio e la Prevenzione Oncologica, Florence, Italy.


    The mortality of 2926 male workers at the tanneries in the "leather area" of Tuscany was examined from 1950 to 1983 comparing it with the national mortality. Cancer mortality was of particular concern because of the many chemicals known to be definite or suspected carcinogens used in the tanning cycle, in particular chromate pigments, benzidine based dyes, formaldehyde, and organic solvents. There was no excess of deaths for cancers of all sites but slight increases in deaths from cancer of the lung (SMR = 131, CI 95% = 88-182), bladder (SMR = 150, CI 95% = 48-349), kidney (SMR = 323, CI 95% = 86-827), pancreas (SMR = 146, CI 95% = 39-373), and leukaemias (SMR = 164, CI 95% = 53-382) occurred. Two cases of soft tissue sarcomas were observed versus 0.09 expected (SMR = 2178, CI 95% = 250-8023).

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