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.
- longitudinal studies
- mortality studies
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health