Occupation, exposure to chemicals and risk of gliomas and meningiomas in Sweden

Am J Ind Med. 2002 Sep;42(3):214-27. doi: 10.1002/ajim.10107.


Background: Occupational exposures may be related to the development of brain cancer. The objective was to estimate occupational-specific risk of gliomas and meningiomas among Swedish men and women gainfully employed in 1970 over the period 1971-1989, and the influence of occupational exposure to chemical substances.

Methods: A dataset linking cancer diagnoses from the Swedish national cancer register to occupational and demographical data obtained in the 1970 census was used to fit log-linear Poisson models, in order to obtain relative risks adjusted by age, period, geographical area and town size. Exposure to 13 chemicals was assessed using a Swedish job-exposure matrix.

Results: The main findings of this study among men were the increased risk of glioma with occupational exposure to arsenic, mercury, and petroleum products and of meningioma with lead. Women in occupational sectors with a higher socio-economic status showed an increased incidence of both, gliomas and meningiomas.

Conclusions: Occupational exposure to some chemicals appeared to be related with an increased risk of glioma and meningioma in men. Exposures involved in glioma and meningioma development seemed to be different.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Brain Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Brain Neoplasms / etiology
  • Cohort Studies
  • Environmental Monitoring
  • Epidemiological Monitoring
  • Female
  • Glioma / epidemiology*
  • Glioma / etiology
  • Humans
  • Inorganic Chemicals / adverse effects*
  • Inorganic Chemicals / analysis
  • Male
  • Meningioma / epidemiology*
  • Meningioma / etiology
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Exposure / adverse effects*
  • Occupational Exposure / analysis
  • Occupational Health
  • Occupations*
  • Poisson Distribution
  • Registries
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Distribution
  • Survival Analysis
  • Sweden / epidemiology


  • Inorganic Chemicals