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Keywords:

  • metal plating;
  • chrome;
  • nickel;
  • lung cancer;
  • Occupational Cancer Monitoring

Abstract

Background

Occupational Cancer Monitoring (OCCAM) is an Italian organization that monitors occupational cancers, by area and industrial sector, by retrieving cases and employment history from official databases. OCCAM previously estimated a relative risk (RR) of lung cancer of about 1.32 among “metal treatment” workers in Lombardy, northern Italy, potentially exposed to chrome and nickel. In the present study, lung cancer risk was estimated among electroplating workers only.

Methods

Lombardy electroplating companies were identified from descriptions in Social Security files. Lung cancer risk was evaluated from 2001 to 2008 incident cases identified from hospital discharge records.

Results

The RR for lung cancer among electroplating workers was 2.03 (90% CI 1.33–3.10, 18 cases) for men; 3.00 (90% CI 1.38–9.03, 4 cases) for women.

Conclusions

Electroplaters had higher risks than “metal treatment” workers. Although the risks were due to past exposure, case histories and recent acute effects indicate a present carcinogenic hazard in some Lombardy electroplating factories. Am. J. Ind. Med. 55:1–4, 2012. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.