The mortality experienced by a cohort of 2689 nickel/chromium platers between 1946 and 1983 has been investigated. All members of the study cohort had some period of chrome exposed employment. Overall, compared with the general population of England and Wales, statistically significant differences relating to cancer were found for cancer of the stomach (E = 16.2, O = 25), primary cancer of the liver (E = 0.8, O = 4), cancer of the nose and nasal cavities (E = 0.3, O = 3), cancers of the lung and bronchus (E = 48.1, O = 72), and all cancers (E = 164.2, O = 213). Chrome bath workers are the more heavily exposed workers, and a striking difference in SMRs was found for lung cancer among men first employed as chrome bath workers (SMR = 199) and men first employed as other chrome workers (SMR = 101). The method of regression models in life tables (RMLT) was used to compare the durations of chrome exposed employment of those dying from causes of interest with those of all matching survivors in the same year of follow up, while controlling for sex, and for year and age of starting employment. Significant positive associations were found only for cancers of the lung and bronchus and duration of chrome bath work. In this study exposure to nickel was shown not to be an important confounding exposure.
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