Long-term study of chloroprene workers shows no link to cancer mortality

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 16, 2020

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LAPLACE – A study published in November in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine followed nearly 7,000 workers at chloroprene-handling facilities across United States for approximately 70 years and concluded “the risk of death from lung or liver cancer is unrelated” to exposure to the chemical. The peer-reviewed scientific journal is dedicated to workplace health and safety.


The study reviewed lifetime data on over 1,300 employees of the Neoprene-producing facility near Reserve in St. John the Baptist Parish along with approximately 5,500 employees of a facility in Louisville, Kentucky and found they experienced below-average rates for all cancer deaths compared with the U.S. and parish/county averages.


The study, authored by researchers from the University of Pittsburgh and funded by the International Institute of Synthetic Rubber Producers, follows up on a previous study published in 2007 with similar results. Authors of the study say the additional 17 years of data on workers’ health outcomes included in the update make it a “more reliable and informative evaluation” of mortality patterns.

Other research completed by the Louisiana Tumor Registry shows residents living near the Reserve plant do not experience elevated rates of those cancers compared with state averages.

Submitted by Jim Harris on behalf of Denka.