In response to concerns expressed by workers at a public meeting, we analyzed the mortality experience of workers who were employed at the IBM plant in Endicott, New York and died between 1969–2001. An epidemiologic feasibility assessment indicated potential worker exposure to several known and suspected carcinogens at this plant.
We used the mortality and work history files produced under a court order and used in a previous mortality analysis. Using publicly available data for the state of New York as a standard of comparison, we conducted proportional cancer mortality (PCMR) analysis.
The results showed significantly increased mortality due to melanoma (PCMR = 367; 95% CI: 119, 856) and lymphoma (PCMR = 220; 95% CI: 101, 419) in males and modestly increased mortality due to kidney cancer (PCMR = 165; 95% CI: 45, 421) and brain cancer (PCMR = 190; 95% CI: 52, 485) in males and breast cancer (PCMR = 126; 95% CI: 34, 321) in females.
These results are similar to results from a previous IBM mortality study and support the need for a full cohort mortality analysis such as the one being planned by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.