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Keywords:

  • occupational cancer;
  • cancer surveillance;
  • occupational cancer surveillance;
  • surveillance;
  • death certificates;
  • mortality odds ratio

Abstract

This study examines cancer mortality patterns by occupation for white males in Massachusetts using 1971–1973 death records. Its purpose is to identify occupation-cancer associations that, when interpreted in conjunction with results from other studies and hypotheses about potential occupational carcinogens, can serve as leads for more definitive etiological investigations.

Sixty-two malignancy categories (including grouped categories) were investigated for each of 397 occupational categories (including grouped categories) using an age-standardized mortality odds ratio approach.

An important finding was the association between lung cancer and a large number of occupations for which there is support from other epidemiologic studies and/or for which there are reasonable hypotheses as to possible carcinogenic exposures. These occupations include truck drivers, painters, machinists, automobile mechanics, plumbers, cooks, fishermen, heated metal workers, sheet metal workers, and brickmasons/stone-masons/tile setters.