Article Text


0110 Cancer Mortality among Styrene and Fibreglass Exposed Workers in the Reinforced Plastic Boatbuilding Industry
  1. Avima Ruder,
  2. Alysha Meyers,
  3. Steven Bertke
  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA


Objectives Mortality was updaated through 2008 for 5203 workers exposed to styrene, fibreglass, and wood dust between 1959 and 1978 at two boatbuilding plants. The a priori hypothesis: leukaemia and lymphoma excesses would be found

Method Standardised mortality ratios (SMR), standardised rate ratios (SRR), and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated using Washington State rates and a person-years analysis program, LTAS. NET, controlling for age, calendar period, race, and gender. The SRR analysis compared tertiles of estimated cumulative styrene exposure.

Results Overall, 484 cancer deaths occurred (SMR 1.20, CI 1.10–1.31), with excess mortality for respiratory cancers (n = 171, SMR 1.33, CI 1.14–1.55) and prostate cancer (n = 41, SMR 1.44, CI 1.03–1.96). Among 2063 workers highly exposed to styrene and fibreglass there were excesses of mesothelioma (n = 3, SMR 5.28, CI 1.09–15.4) and ovarian cancer (n = 6, SMR 2.94, CI 1.08–6.41). The SRR analysis did not find strong associations between tertiles of styrene exposure and cancer mortality.

Conclusions We found no excess leukaemia or lymphoma mortality. Unanticipated excess mesothelioma and ovarian cancer mortality are difficult to interpret and could be due to fibreglass exposure or employment elsewhere, or could be chance findings.

Statistics from

Request Permissions

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.