Brain cancer in workers employed at a specialty chemical research facility

Bruce H. Alexander, Jeffrey H. Mandel, Laura L.F. Scott, Gurumurthy Ramachandran, Y. Cheng Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study evaluated unique exposures and their relationship to brain cancer mortality in employees of a specialty chemical research facility. Following an exposure assessment that concerned compounds distinct to this facility, the authors conducted a cohort mortality study of 5,284 workers to assess mortality in reference to the general population and a nested case-control study to evaluate brain cancer risk associated with specific jobs and unique chemical exposures. Four hundred eighty-six deaths, including 14 brain cancer deaths, were identified. Overall mortality was lower than expected. Brain cancer mortality was elevated (standardized mortality ratio [SMR] = 2.02, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.11-3.40). Exposures to 5 specific chemical categories were assessed. Exploration of work history and the specific chemical exposures did not explain the brain cancer cases. No clear occupational etiology was identified.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)218-227
Number of pages10
JournalArchives of Environmental and Occupational Health
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Brain cancer
  • Mortality
  • Occupational exposure
  • Specialty chemical industry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Toxicology
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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