Papers And Originals

Occupational Toxic Factor in Mortality from Coronary Heart Disease

Br Med J 1968; 4 doi: (Published 16 November 1968) Cite this as: Br Med J 1968;4:407
  1. J. R. Tiller,
  2. R. S. F. Schilling,
  3. J. N. Morris


    Between 1933 and 1962 42% of 223 deaths of male workers exposed to carbon disulphide in three viscose rayon factories in England and Wales were certified to coronary heart disease—compared with 24% of the deaths in the other workers of the same age, 17% of the deaths in other local men, and 14% in the Registrar General's Tables. Of men with more than 10 years in the rayon industry employed in one of the factories, those exposed to carbon disulphide had death rates from coronary heart disease between 1950 and 1964 two and a half times that of the other workers.

    This evidence of an occupational risk of coronary heart disease from long-term exposure to low concentrations of CS2 was strongest in the 1940s and slight in 1958–62, and it may relate to wartime plant conditions. Current and prospective biochemical and morbidity surveys of exposed workers are now needed. These may also throw light on general issues of atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease.