Quartzexposition, silicosis and lungcancer

Project No. FFFF 0144


completed 09/2000


Only foreign studies revealed increased risk for lung cancer of workers with silicosis. The study aimed at prooving the correlation under working conditions in germany.


Mortality from lung cancer among workers with silicosis awarded compensation for the disease was investigated in the stone and quarrying, ceramics, and tunneling industries. The cohort study included all workers awarded compensation for silicosis between 01.01.1988 and 31.12.1992. The follow-up period lasted until 31.12.1998. The cause of death was ascertained from the death certificate. The incidence of mortality was compared with that in the general population of Germany.


The cohort was made up of 282 workers, 110 of whom died during the follow-up period. Death certificates were available for 104 of these cases (=94,5%). The overall mortality risk was twice that for the general population (SMR=2.04; 95% CI: 1.65-249). Lung cancer was the cause of death in nine cases, compared with 4.54 expected cases (SMR=1.98; 95% CI: 0.90-3.78). The increased mortality rate overall was mainly the result of death from tuberculosis (6 cases) and silicosis (27 cases). This study confirms the increased risk for lung cancer reported in the literature.


Ulm, K., u.a.: Quarzexposition, Silikose und Lungenkrebs. Arbeitsmedizin Sozialmedizin Umweltmedizin 35 (2000), S. 97-101

Ulm, K., u.a.: Silica dust and lung cancer in the German stone, quarrying and ceramics industries - results of a case-control-study. Thorax 54 (1999), S. 347-351

Last Update:

28 Nov 2002


Financed by:
  • Hauptverband der gewerblichen Berufsgenossenschaften (HVBG)
Research institution(s):
  • Steinbruchs-Berufsgenossenschaft
  • Tiefbau-Berufsgenossenschaft
  • Berufsgenossenschaft der keramischen und Glas-Industrie
  • Institut für Medizinische Statistik und Epidemiologie, München

-cross sectoral-

Type of hazard:

dangerous substances


Epidemiologie, Krebserregende Stoffe

Description, key words:

Cohort study investigation of correlation between quartz dust concentration and incidences of silicosis and lung cancer in the stone and quarrying, ceramics and tunnelling industries