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Cancer incidence among workers in six Norwegian aluminum plants. *

OBJECTIVES: This study investigated associations between exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) and the incidence of lung, bladder, kidney, and pancreatic cancer among Norwegian aluminum plant workers.

METHODS: Cancer incidence was investigated from 1953 to 1996 among 11,103 men employed for more than 3 years in the industry, giving 272,554 person-years during follow-up. A job exposure matrix was constructed to estimate exposure to particulate PAH and fluorides. The observed cases of cancer were compared with expected figures calculated from national rates. Dose-response relations were investigated by internal comparisons using Poisson regression and stratified analyses for standardized incidence ratio. Potential confounding by smoking was investigated in subanalyses restricted to 3 of the plants.

RESULTS: The study showed an overall excess for bladder cancer, standardized incidence ratio 1.3 (95% confidence interval 1.1-1.5), which increased with increasing cumulative exposure to PAH and reached a relative risk of about 2 for the upper exposure category in the analysis with 30 years of lag time. There was no association between cumulative PAH exposure and lung cancer, but there were indications of an elevated risk of kidney cancer among the most heavily PAH-exposed persons in the analyses with a lag time of 30 years. For pancreatic cancer we found a higher incidence among the PAH-exposed persons than among the unexposed ones, but no clear dose-response association was found.

CONCLUSIONS: The study showed an association between bladder cancer and exposure to PAH, but gave no support to an association between PAH exposure and lung cancer in the primary aluminum industry.

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As with any procedure, there could be pain or other substantial risks involved. These concerns should be discussed with your health care provider prior to any treatment so that you have proper informed consent and understand that there are no guarantees to healing.

THE INFORMATION IN THIS WEBSITE IS OFFERED FOR GENERAL EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND DOES NOT IMPLY OR GIVE MEDICAL ADVICE. No Doctor/Patient relationship shall be deemed to have arisen simply by reading the information contained on these pages, and you should consult with your personal physician/care giver regarding your medical treatment before undergoing any sort of treatment or therapy.

Published on 10-27-2008
Authors: Romundstad, P : Andersen, A : Haldorsen, T
Source: Scand-J-Work-Environ-Health. 2000 Dec; 26(6),: 461-9