Journal Article

Cancer Risk among Workers at Danish Companies using Trichloroethylene: A Cohort Study

Ole Raaschou-Nielsen, Johnni Hansen, Joseph K. McLaughlin, Henrik Kolstad, Jytte M. Christensen, Robert E. Tarone and Jørgen H. Olsen

in American Journal of Epidemiology

Published on behalf of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Volume 158, issue 12, pages 1182-1192
Published in print December 2003 | ISSN: 0002-9262
Published online December 2003 | e-ISSN: 1476-6256 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/aje/kwg282
Cancer Risk among Workers at Danish Companies using Trichloroethylene:  A Cohort Study

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Trichloroethylene is an animal carcinogen with limited evidence of carcinogenicity in humans. Cancer incidence between 1968 and 1997 was evaluated in a cohort of 40,049 blue-collar workers in 347 Danish companies with documented trichloroethylene use. Standardized incidence ratios for total cancer were 1.1 (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.04, 1.12) in men and 1.2 (95% CI: 1.14, 1.33) in women. For non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and renal cell carcinoma, the overall standardized incidence ratios were 1.2 (95% CI: 1.0, 1.5) and 1.2 (95% CI: 0.9, 1.5), respectively; standardized incidence ratios increased with duration of employment, and elevated standardized incidence ratios were limited to workers first employed before 1980 for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and before 1970 for renal cell carcinoma. The standardized incidence ratio for esophageal adenocarcinoma was 1.8 (95% CI: 1.2, 2.7); the standardized incidence ratio was higher in companies with the highest probability of trichloroethylene exposure. In a subcohort of 14,360 presumably highly exposed workers, the standardized incidence ratios for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, renal cell carcinoma, and esophageal adenocarcinoma were 1.5 (95% CI: 1.2, 2.0), 1.4 (95% CI: 1.0, 1.8), and 1.7 (95% CI: 0.9, 2.9), respectively. The present results and those of previous studies suggest that occupational exposure to trichloroethylene at past higher levels may be associated with elevated risk for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Associations between trichloroethylene exposure and other cancers are less consistent.

Keywords: adenocarcinoma; biliary tract neoplasms; esophageal neoplasms; kidney neoplasms; liver neoplasms; lymphoma, non-Hodgkin; occupations; trichloroethylene; Abbreviation: CI, confidence interval.

Journal Article.  8058 words. 

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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