Cancer incidence among women flax textile manufacturing workers in Lithuania

Kuzmickiene, Irena; Stukonis, Mecys
July 2010
Occupational & Environmental Medicine;Jul2010, Vol. 67 Issue 7, p8
Academic Journal
Objective To determine site-specific cancer incidence among women spinning-weaving and dyeing-finishing workers in the largest flax textile factory in Lithuania. Method The cancer incidence of a cohort of 3447 women workers from a flax textile factory was investigated for the period 1978-2002. All subjects were employed at the plant in the period 1957-2000 for a minimum of 12 months. Standardised incidence ratios (SIRs) were estimated by use of the corresponding national rates. SIRs were calculated for the spinning-weaving and dyeing-finishing work categories, and for two durations of employment categories (<10 years, ≥10 years). Results The cancer SIRs among spinning-weaving and dyeing-finishing workers were 0.84 (95% CI 0.69 to 1.00) and 0.90 (95% CI 0.52 to 1.44). An incidence deficit for non-melanoma skin cancer was found for the spinning-weaving unit (SIR 0.45, 95% CI 0.18 to 0.92). The risk of oral cavity and pharynx cancer was significantly increased in spinning-weaving unit workers with <10 years of employment (SIR 5.71, 95% CI 1.56 to 14.60). A significant excess of thyroid cancer and nervous system cancer was found among dyeing-finishing workers. Conclusions The overall cancer and non-melanoma skin cancer incidence rate among flax spinning-weaving workers was lower compared with the Lithuanian population. The present findings lend some support to an excess of thyroid and nervous system cancers among dyeing-finishing workers and of oral cavity and pharynx cancer in spinning-weaving workers.


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