Occupation and the high risk of lung cancer in Northeast Florida
A case-control study involving interviews with 321 male patients with lung cancer and 434 controls, or their next of kin, was undertaken to identify reasons for the high lung cancer mortality along the northeast coast of Florida. In Duval county (Jacksonville), the age-adjusted rate for lung cancer, 1970-1975, among white males was the highest of all urban counties in the United States. Increased risks on the order of 40-50% were associated with employment in the shipbuilding, construction, and lumber/wood industries, particularly among workers with reported exposures to asbestos or wood dust. Excess risks were also linked to fishing and forestry occupations, although the numbers of cases involved were small. Occupational factors did not appear to fully account for the area-wide excess of lung cancer, but no evidence was found to implicate smoking habits, migration patterns, or diagnostic and reporting practices as factors responsible for the exceptional mortality rates.