The Swedish Leather Tanning Industry Health And Social Care Essay

Published: 2021-07-18 08:15:06
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Research Article
Cancer mortality among workers in the Tuscan tanning industry.
A S Costantini,
E Paci,
L Miligi,
E Buiatti,
C Martelli,
S Lenzi
+ Author Affiliations
Centro per lo Studio e la Prevenzione Oncologica, Florence, Italy.
The mortality of 2926 male workers at the tanneries in the "leather area" of Tuscany was examined from 1950 to 1983 comparing it with the national mortality. Cancer mortality was of particular concern because of the many chemicals known to be definite or suspected carcinogens used in the tanning cycle, in particular chromate pigments, benzidine based dyes, formaldehyde, and organic solvents. There was no excess of deaths for cancers of all sites but slight increases in deaths from cancer of the lung (SMR = 131, CI 95% = 88-182), bladder (SMR = 150, CI 95% = 48-349), kidney (SMR = 323, CI 95% = 86-827), pancreas (SMR = 146, CI 95% = 39-373), and leukaemias (SMR = 164, CI 95% = 53-382) occurred. Two cases of soft tissue sarcomas were observed versus 0.09 expected (SMR = 2178, CI 95% = 250-8023).
Occup Environ Med 2005;62:461-464 doi:10.1136/oem.2004.017038
Original article
Cancer incidence in the Swedish leather tanning industry: updated findings 1958–99
Z Mikoczy,
L Hagmar
+ Author Affiliations
Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Lund University Hospital, SE-221 85 Lund, Sweden
Correspondence to:
 Mr Z Mikoczy
 Department of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Lund University Hospital, SE-221 85 Lund, Sweden; [email protected]
Accepted 17 December 2004
Aims: To assess how a 10 year extension of the follow up period affected cancer incidence in the Swedish leather tanning cohort.
Methods: A cohort of 2027 tannery workers (of which 482 were women) who had been employed for at least one year between 1900 and 1989 at one of three Swedish leather tanneries, was established. The start of observation varied between 1958 and 1966 for the three plants. Through linkage with the Swedish Cancer Registry, incident cancer cases were recorded up to 1999. Cause specific expected cancer incidence was calculated for 1958–99 based on calendar year, sex, and five year age group specific incidence rates for the counties where the plants had been located. Altogether 56 022 person-years at risk were generated.
Results: A total of 351 incident cancer cases were observed compared to 302 expected, which resulted in an increased standardised incidence ratio (SIR) of 1.16 (95% CI 1.04 to 1.29). An enhanced risk for prostate cancer was observed (SIR 1.44, 95% CI 1.10 to 1.86), mainly attributable to the later part of the observation period (1990–99). In this updated analysis the previously observed risk excess for soft tissue sarcomas was no longer significant (SIR 2.62, 95% CI 0.96 to 5.70). For multiple myelomas and sinonasal cancer the slight non-significant excesses remained, still based on very few cases.
Conclusions: The increased risk for prostate cancer in the present study might be a chance finding, but is noteworthy, since it is in acccordance with the finding of increased SIR for prostate cancer among leather workers in another recent Swedish study. Moreover, excess risks for prostate cancer among farmers have been reported, indicating pesticides as possible causative agents. Leather tanners have also been exposed to pesticides.
Br J Ind Med 1989;46:171-175 doi:10.1136/oem.46.3.171
Research Article
Hair chromium as an index of chromium exposure of tannery workers.
J A Randall,
R S Gibson
+ Author Affiliations
Department of Family Studies, University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada.
The use of hair chromium (Cr) concentrations as an index of Cr exposure of tannery workers was investigated. As has been shown earlier, Cr from Cr III compounds used in the leather tanning industry is absorbed because concentrations of Cr in serum and urine of tannery workers are significantly increased compared with corresponding concentrations for unexposed controls. Hair samples were collected from 71 male tannery workers from four southern Ontario tanneries and from 53 male controls not exposed to Cr in the workplace. Subjects were matched for age, race, and socioeconomic status. Hair samples were washed, ashed in a low temperature asher, and analysed by flameless atomic absorption. The median hair Cr concentrations for the tannery workers (551 ng/g) was significantly higher (p = 0.0001) than for the controls (123 ng/g). For the tannery workers, hair Cr concentrations were positively and significantly correlated with serum Cr (r = 0.52, p less than 0.01) and with the preshift and postshift urinary Cr/creatinine ratios (r = 0.43, p less than 0.01; r = 0.64, p less than 0.01, respectively). These data indicate that trivalent Cr absorbed from leather tanning compounds results in raised concentrations of Cr in hair and that hair Cr concentrations may be used as an index of industrial Cr exposure.
Occup Environ Med 1997;54:588-591 doi:10.1136/oem.54.8.588
Research Article
Mortality in a cohort of tannery workers.
F Montanaro,
M Ceppi,
P A Demers,
R Puntoni,
S Bonassi
+ Author Affiliations
Department of Environmental Epidemiology, Istituto Nazionale per la Ricerca sul Cancro, Genoa, Italy.
OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the mortality of a group of tannery workers. METHODS: The cohort consisted of 1244 workers (870 men and 374 women) employed at a chrome tannery between 1955 and 1988. A total of 36414 person-years of follow up was calculated (369 people had died). National and regional mortalities were used to estimate the expected numbers. RESULTS: All cause mortality was similar to that of the general population. The most remarkable excess was for bladder cancer (observed 10, standardised mortality ratio (SMR) 242, 95% confidence interval (95% CI) 116 to 446). An excess of colorectal cancer (observed 17, SMR 180, 95% CI 105 to 288) was also found, based on an increased risk of both colon (SMR 166) and rectal cancer (SMR 206). No recognisable patterns emerged from the analyses by years since first employment, calendar year of hire, or lagging exposures. CONCLUSIONS: The increased mortality from bladder cancer is likely due to exposure to benzidine based leather dyes. If the apparent excess of colorectal cancer is real, its causes are as yet unknown.
Br J Ind Med 1985;42:285-287 doi:10.1136/oem.42.4.285
Research Article
Mortality of tanners.
E C Pippard,
E D Acheson,
P D Winter
The mortality of 833 male tannery workers known to have been employed in the industry in 1939 and who were followed up to the end of 1982 was studied. A total of 573 men had been employed in making leather tanned by vegetable extracts for soles and heels, and 260 men had used chrome tanning to make leather for the upper parts of shoes. No significant excesses of deaths were found for any of the common sites of cancer in either group of workers. One death from nasal cancer (0.21 expected) was reported among the men who worked with sole and heel leather.
Br J Ind Med 1993;50:938-940 doi:10.1136/oem.50.10.938
Research Article
A study of the health conditions of child workers in a small scale leather industry in Calcutta.
S Mitra
+ Author Affiliations
Department of Community Medicine, R G Kar Medical College, Calcutta, India.
Forty male children aged between seven and 14 years, working in small scale leather workshops in a slum locality in Calcutta were studied, along with a control group of 40 non-working male children of the same age group, same locality, and the same socioeconomic class. Three specific health problems--namely, low back and ankle pain, dizziness, and tingling pain in the hands were found in a significantly higher proportion in the working children. For height, weight, nutritional state, and general morbidity pattern, however there were no significant differences between the two groups. Possibly the particular sitting posture of the child workers for long working hours and the chemical nature of the glue and solvents used in this industry were responsible for the manifestations in the working children.

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