A mortality, morbidity, and hematology study of petrochemical employees potentially exposed to 1,3-butadiene monomer

Shan P. Tsai, Judy K. Wendt, Jerry D. Ransdell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


This three-part study is an update of a previous report that examined the mortality, morbidity, and hematological data of employees from a petrochemical facility in Texas who had potential exposure to 1,3-butadiene monomer. The first part describes the updated cause-specific mortality of 614 workers. Vital status for each cohort member was ascertained through 1998, a 9-year extension of the previous study. The second part is an examination of the morbidity experience of cohort members who were still working during 1992-1998, including 289 of the 614 mortality cohort members. The third part is an evaluation of the hematological results from routine health surveillance and/or medical examinations. Approximately 430 of the 614 employees who had complete blood count (CBC) data as of December 1999 were included in the hematological evaluations. The most recent examination containing CBC data was used and compared with similar data for over 2600 other employees from this facility. Overall mortality during the follow-up period, 1948-1998, was significantly lower than for the local comparison population (standardized mortality ratio (SMR) of 0.55 with a 95% confidence interval (CI) of 0.42-0.70). Mortality for all cancer was also significantly lower (SMR, 0.57; 95% CI, 0.32-0.92). Mortality for all lymphohematopoietic cancer was about the same as the comparison population (SMR, 1.06; 95% CI, 0.22-3.11). None of the cause-specific morbidity was in excess compared with an internal comparison group. There were no differences in the distribution or mean values of heamatological variables (e.g. white blood cells, red blood cells, hemoglobin, platelets, mean corpuscular volume) between the butadiene cohort and the comparison group, or between a subgroup of workers in jobs with the highest potential for butadiene exposure (i.e. shipping) and the rest of the butadiene cohort. The findings of this study suggest that the butadiene exposure at this facility in the last 20 years does not pose a health hazard to employees.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)555-567
Number of pages13
JournalChemico-Biological Interactions
StatePublished - Jun 1 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • 1,3-Butadiene
  • Epidemiology
  • Hematology
  • Lymphohematopoietic cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology


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