Mortality of older construction and craft workers employed at department of energy nuclear sites: Follow-up through 2016.
BACKGROUND: To determine if construction and trades workers employed at U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) nuclear sites facilities are at significant risk for diseases associated with occupational exposures, we compared the mortality experience of participants in the Building Trades National Medical Screening Program (BTMed) to that of the US population. METHODS: The cohort includes 24,086 BTMed participants enrolled between 1998 and 2016 and 5203 deaths. Cause-specific standardized mortality ratios were calculated based on US death rates. RESULTS: Mortality was elevated for all causes, all cancers, cancers of the trachea, bronchus, and lung and lymphatic and hematopoietic system, mesothelioma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asbestosis, transportation injuries, and other injuries, particularly those caused by accidental poisoning, suggesting a possible effect of the opioid epidemic. CONCLUSIONS: Apart from other injuries, mortality patterns were very similar to those reported in the past in this population. Construction workers employed at DOE sites have a significantly increased risk for occupational illnesses. Risks are associated with employment during all time periods covered including possibly after 1990. The cancer risks closely match the cancers identified for DOE compensation from radiation exposures. The high risk of lung cancer supports the value of early lung cancer detection. Continued medical surveillance is important.
Ringen, K; Dement, J; Hines, S; Quinn, P; Chen, A; Haas, S
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