Aims. The main aim of this study is to estimate the impact on workers’ health caused by hardwood dust exposure in selected industrial sectors in Italy.
Methods. Proportionate mortality ratios (PMR) by cancer site were calculated by linking the information on occupational exposure to carcinogens from the Italian national registry (SIREP, 1996-2018) to the national mortality archives (ISTAT, 2005-2018), assuming a Poisson distribution of the data.
Results. An elevated proportion of deaths from sino-nasal cancer was found in male exposed workers (PMR=4.25, CI 95%=1.37-13.23). Increased proportions of deaths were also found from stomach cancer in both genders (PMR=3.14, CI 95%=1.41-7.00 women; PMR=1.64, CI 95%=1.22-2.19 men).
Conclusions. Although hardwood dust is a known human carcinogen, there are still many high-risk occupational exposure settings. Epidemiological surveillance and continuous monitoring of workers is highly recommended in order to ensure compliance with regulatory obligations and limit the burden of associated mortality causes.