A case-referent study that investigated possible associations between environmental and occupational exposures and acute myeloid leukemia was performed on 86 cases and 172 referents, all of whom were living. Exposure information was obtained through a questionnaire mailed to each subject. An association was found between time spent in concrete buildings at home and work and leukemia morbidity. In addition, extensive x-ray examinations that occurred more than 5 y prior to diagnosis were more common among cases than referents.
The role of smoking and air pollution in bronchial asthma in otherwise healthy adults is still unclear. We compared 79 cases of asthma, diagnosed between ages 20 and 65 years, with 304 randomly drawn population controls of similar age from the same catchment area as the cases. The comparison involved questionnaire information on smoking habits, occupational exposures, dwelling conditions, various suspect allergenic exposures, and atopy. Those who had smoked for 3 years or more, present or past, were at increased risk for bronchial asthma (odds ratio = 1.9; 95% confidence interval = 1.1-3.3). Adjustment by multiple logistic regression for age and gender as well as atopy and air pollution at work did not change the relative risk estimate. Exposure to environmental tobacco smoke, or passive smoking, at work involved a slightly greater risk.
An increased mortality from lung cancer, cardiovascular disease, haematolymphatic malignancy and cirrhosis of the liver has been reported among smelter workers and others exposed to arsenic. This study uses the case-referent (case-control) technique and is concerned with workers in a copper smelter in a complex work environment, characterised by the presence of trivalent arsenic in combination with sulphur dioxide and copper, and also with other agents. Lung cancer mortality was found to be increased about five-fold and cardiovascular disease about two-fold, showing a dose-response relationship to arsenic exposure. Mortality from malignant blood disease (leukaemia and myeloma) and cirrhosis of the liver was also slightly increased. This mortality pattern among the smelter workers is consistent with earlier reports. An increased mortality from cardiovascular disease in this type of industry is of particular interest as it has been reported only once before.
The effect of potential risk factors for acute myeloid leukemia was evaluated in a case-referent study encompassing 59 cases and 354 referents, all of whom were alive. Information on exposure was obtained through a questionnaire mailed to the subjects. The possible effect of background radiation was evaluated by means of a gamma radiation index, which accounted for the differences between cases and referents in this respect, i.e., in time spent in concrete buildings both at home and at work places. In the 20-54 yr old age group, there was an association between leukemia morbidity and index of background radiation. X-ray treatment and electrical work were also associated with increased rate ratios. With regard to solvents, only styrene appeared as a risk factor, but the number of exposed subjects was small. Other exposures were less clearly associated with increased risks.
The mortality pattern among 86 men was determined to investigate the possible hazards of polishing steel. The men had polished steel with polishing paste for at least five years. The polishing pastes had contained tallow, beeswax, carnauba wax, alundum, carborundum, ferric oxide, and chalk. A total of 18 men had died compared with 13.3 expected. Four had died of stomach cancer compared with 0.44 expected (p less than 0.005). The mortality for other causes of death was not increased. The study does not permit any definite conclusion but indicates a possible cancer hazard among polishers.
In a Swedish cohort of workers (n = 6,454) from seven aluminum foundries and three secondary aluminum (scrap) smelters there was no overall excess risk of cancer among male or female workers less than 85 years of age (males: 325 observed cases, standardized incidence ratio (SIR) 1.02, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.91-1.13; females: 22 cases, SIR = 0.95, 95% CI = 0.60-1.44). In male workers, however, significantly elevated risk estimates were observed for cancer of the lung (51 cases; SIR = 1.49, 95% CI = 1.11-1.96), anorectal cancer (33 cases; SIR 2.13, 95% CI = 1.47-2.99), and sinonasal cancer (4 cases; SIR = 4.70, 95% CI = 1.28-12.01). There was no increase of urinary bladder or liver cancer. Lung cancer risks were highest in workers with a short duration of employment (
BACKGROUND: Clinical experience of cases of fatty liver disease (FLD) with exposure to organic solvents suggested a possible risk. METHODS: Thirty male cases of FLD, ages 20-59 years, with biopsy records at departments of pathology in southeast Sweden were compared to 120 male controls randomly drawn from the study area population. Questionnaire information was obtained about job titles and specific occupational exposures; exposure level categories were then assessed blindly for both cases and controls. Medical records for cases were scrutinized to elucidate possible confounding and/or interacting effects from alcohol, the use of drugs, and other diseases. RESULTS: Moderately intense and mixed solvent exposure for more than 1 year within the last 15 years prior to diagnosis resulted in an age-adjusted Mantel-Haenszel odds ratio of 4.3 (95% confidence interval (CI), 1.2-15); for intense exposure, the odds ratio was 7.7 (95% CI 1.7-48). Confounding from alcohol, use of drugs, other diseases, and overweight could be ruled out with reasonable confidence. CONCLUSIONS: This study indicates that occupational exposure to organic solvents may play a role in the development of FLD, as indicated earlier in case reports and in one small case-control study.