Article Text

other Versions

Cancer mortality in a synthetic spinning plant, in Besançon (France)
  1. Martine Hours (martine.hours{at}
  1. Inrets, France
    1. Joëlle Fevotte (joelle.fevotte{at}
    1. InVS, France
      1. Sylviane Lafont (sylviane.lafont{at}
      1. Université Lyon 1, France
        1. Alain Bergeret (alain.bergeret{at}
        1. université Lyon 1, France


          Objectives: To assess the mortality of a cohort of workers in a synthetic textile spinning plant and to evaluate the relation between mortality from lung, liver and bladder cancer and the processes or the products used.

          Methodology: The study population consisted of male workers present for at least six months in the plant from 1968 to 1984. The cohort was followed until 1999. Vital status and the causes of death were determined by consulting national registries. The population of the “Franche-Comté” region was used for comparisons. Seventeen groups of exposure were assessed by the industrial hygienist, based on the consensus of an expert group that determined the exposure levels of every job to selected occupational hazards. Each worker was assigned to one or several groups, according to his occupational history. Confounding factors could not be assessed. Standardised Mortality Ratios (SMR) and 95 % bilateral confidence intervals were calculated based on an assumed Poisson distribution of the number of cases to compare the plant mortality and the population mortality. Internal analyses were performed with Cox models in order to assess the risks of death related to the various exposures.

          Results: In the whole cohort, mortality from all malignant neoplasms was not significantly lower than expected. All the estimated SMRs were lower than or close to 1. The “hot line fitters” (RR=2.13; n=9; 1.06-4.29) and the “fibre drawing” workers (RR=1.83; n=20;1.09-3.07) experienced a statistically significant excess in mortality from lung cancer. A slightly elevated but not significant risk of death related to lung cancer (RR=1.5;n=41;0.8-2.7) was observed in the groups with the highest exposure to mineral fibres. A statistically significant increase in cancer deaths was observed for workers highly exposed to dust (higher intensity: RR=1.42; n=79; 1.06-1.89).

          Conclusion: Some findings, mainly on lung cancer justify further exploration in other plants in this industry.

          • cohort study
          • hot line fitter
          • lung cancer
          • mortality study
          • spinning industry

          Statistics from

          If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.