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MACHINING FLUIDS LINKED TO CANCER, AUTOMOTIVE NEWS REPORTS

 MACHINING FLUIDS LINKED TO CANCER, AUTOMOTIVE NEWS REPORTS
 DETROIT, July 27 /PRNewswire/ -- A confidential report from Harvard University scientists says there is strong evidence that machining fluids used in auto plants are causing cancers and respiratory problems in workers, the trade paper Automotive News reports in today's edition.
 The study concluded that auto workers don't die from cancer more often than Americans in general. But it said there are more deaths than normal from certain cancers, including those of the throat, pancreas, rectum and prostate, according to Automotive News.
 In addition, workers who inhale machining fluids on the job have a higher rate of breathing problems and respiratory illnesses, the Harvard report said.
 The study said that more than 10 million workers in the United States are exposed to machining and grinding coolants and cutting oils.
 GM said currently about 13,000 of the 45,000 workers at its plants where the oils are used come into direct contact with the fluids.
 Though the Harvard report didn't prove a cause-and-effect relationship, it is the strongest evidence yet of a link between exposure to machining oils and cancer, particularly laryngeal cancer.
 The comprehensive study was the first such project to be funded by the $4 million occupational health research fund that was established under the 1984 GM/UAW contract.
 Results of the study were presented to top GM and UAW officials in April and are circulating within the company and the union. The results have not been made public, but Automotive News obtained a copy of the report.
 "Up until now, there was no strong evidence of cancer" connected to the oils, said Roger Wabeke, former supervisor of industrial hygiene for Ford Motor Co. "The workers should be concerned," said Wabeke, now at Wayne State University in Detroit.
 The trade paper reports that General Motors and the UAW paid $2.2 million for the study. The union and the automaker are concerned enough that they have agreed to spend an additional $2.3 million for a series of follow-up studies during the next three years.
 Automotive News is published in Detroit each Monday by Crain Communications Inc. Crain Communications is a privately held company that publishes 25 consumer, business and trade publications, including AutoWeek, Advertising Age, Business Insurance and regional business weeklies in Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit and New York. It has more than 900 employees in 15 offices in the United States, England, Germany and Japan.
 -0- 7/27/92 R
 /CONTACT: Kathy Jackson or Ed Lapham of Automotive News, 313-446-6000/ CO: Automotive News; General Motors; United Auto Workers ST: Michigan IN: AUT PUB SU:


GK -- DE004R -- 3995 07/28/92 10:46 EDT
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Date:Jul 28, 1992
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