Following the suggestion that lead derivatives might cause cancer in man, the causes of death among workers known to have been exposed to lead were studied. A group of companies made available the records of their pension fund, and an accumulator factory provided details of men who had died whilst in their employ. Details of each man's exposure to lead were supplied.
There were 425 pensioners, of whom 184 had died; 153 deaths occurred among an unknown number of employed men who had not yet reached pensionable age. Expected deaths were calculated from the appropriate rates for all males in England and Wales.
It was concluded that there was no evidence to suggest that malignant disease was related to lead absorption. There was, however, evidence that heavy exposure to lead was associated with an increased incidence of deaths from cerebrovascular catastrophies.