Lifetime cumulative exposure to rubber dust, fumes and N-nitrosamines and non-cancer mortality: a 49-year follow-up of UK rubber factory workers

Mira Hidajat, Damien Martin McElvenny, Peter Ritchie, Andrew Darnton, William Mueller, Raymond M. Agius, John W. Cherrie, Frank de Vocht

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: To examine associations between occupational exposures to rubber dust, rubber fumes and N-nitrosamines and non-cancer mortality.

METHODS: A cohort of 36 441 males aged 35+ years employed in British rubber factories was followed-up to 2015 (94% deceased). Competing risk survival analysis was used to assess risks of dying from non-cancer diseases (respiratory, urinary, cerebrovascular, circulatory and digestive diseases). Occupational exposures to rubber dust, rubber fumes, N-nitrosamines were derived based on a population-specific quantitative job-exposure matrix which in-turn was based on measurements in the EU-EXASRUB database.

RESULTS: Exposure-response associations of increased risk with increasing exposure were found for N-nitrosomorpholine with mortality from circulatory diseases (subdistribution hazard ratio (SHR) 1.17; 95% CI 1.12 to 1.23), ischaemic heart disease (IHD) (SHR 1.19; 95% CI 1.13 to 1.26), cerebrovascular disease (SHR 1.19; 95% CI 1.07 to 1.32) and exposures to N-nitrosodimethylamine with respiratory disease mortality (SHR 1.41; 95% CI 1.30 to 1.53). Increased risks for mortality from circulatory disease, IHD and digestive diseases were found with higher levels of exposures to rubber dust, rubber fumes and N-nitrosamines sum, without an exposure-dependent manner. No associations were observed between rubber dust, rubber fumes and N-nitrosamines exposures with mortality from asthma, urinary disease, bronchitis, emphysema, liver disease and some digestive diseases.

CONCLUSIONS: In a cohort of rubber factory workers with 49 years of follow-up, increased risk for mortality from circulatory, cerebrovascular, respiratory and digestive diseases were found to be associated with cumulative occupational exposures to specific agents.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)316-323
Number of pages8
JournalOccupational and Environmental Medicine
Volume77
Issue number5
Early online date23 Jan 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2020

Keywords

  • longitudinal studies
  • mortality studies
  • rubber

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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