Project at a Glance

Title: Development of a protocol to trace and study school children exposed to vinyl chloride

Principal Investigator / Author(s): Ziskand, Richard A.

Contractor: Science Applications, Inc.

Contract Number: A1-082-32

Research Program Area: Health & Exposure

Topic Areas: Health Effects of Air Pollution


Although a considerable body of occupational and laboratory toxicology data have demonstrated the carcinogenic action of vinyl chloride monomer (VCM), there appears to be little epidemiological literature which examines significant exposure to children. A previous EPA-sponsored pilot study identified a cohort of 1,363 children who attended an elementary school adjacent to a VCM processing plant in Saugus, California. A health status questionnaire was developed and administered to 450 subjects and 270 spouses. Three unusual causes of death were identified. The percentage of pregnancies ending in miscarriage and the proportion of children reported to have had a major illness were significantly elevated in comparison to internal controls (spouses of exposed males) and the published literature. This current study identified a non-exposed control group (N = 979), set up a computer data base management system to facilitate subject tracing, performed an analysis of the mortality experience of the two groups up to 1980, and developed a protocol to validate pregnancy outcome data. Vital status was determined for 76.2 percent of the exposed group and 78.0 percent of the control group. Although the mortality rates up to this point are small, there is some evidence of an increased pro-portion of non-trauma deaths among the exposed group and an increased rate among males. There is also evidence of a decreased rate of trauma deaths among the exposed cohort. Reproductive outcome responses were validated for 16 of the 246 married females (pregnant at least once) who had been interviewed. The validation protocol results suggest that the questionnaire is a good instrument capable of recording valid reproductive information.

For questions regarding this research project, including available data and progress status, contact: Research Division staff at (916) 445-0753

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