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0249 Job-exposure matrix for historical exposure to rubber dust, rubber fumes, and n-nitrosamines in the british rubber industry
  1. Mira Hidajat1,
  2. Damien McElvenny2,
  3. Will Mueller2,
  4. Peter Ritchie2,
  5. John Cherrie2,3,
  6. Andrew Darnton4,
  7. Raymond Agius5,
  8. Frank de Vocht1
  1. 1University of Bristol, Bristol, UK
  2. 2Institute of Medicine, Edinburgh, UK
  3. 3Heriot Watt University, Edinburgh, UK
  4. 4Health and Safety Executive, Bootle, UK
  5. 5The University of Manchester, Manchester, UK


In 1982 IARC concluded that there was sufficient evidence for a causal association between occupational exposures in the rubber manufacturing industry and urinary bladder cancer and leukaemia. To enable evaluations of exposure-response associations in a cohort of men age 35+ employed in the British rubber industry in 1967 with a 49 year mortality followup (n=40,867), we created a quantitative historical job-exposure matrix (JEM) covering the period 1915–2000 based on personal and area measurements previously collated within the EU-EXASRUB project for rubber dust (n=4,187), rubber fumes (n=3,852), and n-Nitrosamines (n=10,215). These data were modelled by job function using linear mixed-effects models with sample year and industry sector as explanatory factors and a random factory intercept.

Variations in exposure levels over time between compounds and department were observed. For example, rubber dust exposures ranged from −8.8%/yr (crude materials and mixing, p<0.001) to +0.5%/yr (curing, p=0.01) while rubber fumes exposures declined between −8.3%/yr (crude materials and mixing, p<0.001) and −0.2%/yr (finishing, assembly, and miscellaneous, p=0.218).

JEM-estimates were linked to all cohort members for each year worked to calculate average annual and lifetime cumulative exposures (AAE, LCE), thereby allowing quantitative evaluation of exposure-response associations between 50 year occupational exposure and cancer mortality. AAE rubber dust exposures ranged between 0.3 mg/m3 (curing) and 36.3 mg/m3 (crude materials and mixing). Rubber fumes exposures range between 0.3 mg/m3 (finishing, assembly, and miscellaneous) and 5.4 mg/m3 (crude materials and mixing). LCE trends mirrored AAE results.

JEM-estimates will allow for quantitative exposure-response association assessments between long-term occupational exposure and cancer mortality.

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