Occupational exposure to sulfuric acid in southern Ontario, Canada, in association with laryngeal cancer

Scand J Work Environ Health. 1992 Aug;18(4):225-32. doi: 10.5271/sjweh.1585.


A case-referent study, designed to test associations between asbestos, nickel, and the development of laryngeal cancer, was conducted in southern Ontario in 1977-1979. The cases were individually matched to neighborhood referents for gender and age. This constituted the primary study. Personal interviews had secured tobacco, alcohol, and detailed work histories. To 183 of the male pairs was added retrospective assessments of sulfuric acid exposure for each job, blind of disease status; this constituted the data base for an augmented secondary analysis. Logistic regression revealed statistically significant odds ratios when tobacco and alcohol were controlled. Exposure-response gradients were strongly positive with odds ratios in the range of 1.97 [95% confidence interval (95% CI) 0.63-6.13] for short duration-low level exposure through 6.91 [95% CI 2.20-21.74] for long duration-higher level exposure employing progressively more specific definitions of exposure. Asbestos as a confounder and the interaction terms examined were nonsignificant. These findings are corroborative of those of other studies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Air Pollutants, Occupational / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Laryngeal Neoplasms / chemically induced*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Diseases / chemically induced*
  • Occupational Exposure*
  • Odds Ratio
  • Ontario
  • Risk Factors
  • Sulfuric Acids / adverse effects*


  • Air Pollutants, Occupational
  • Sulfuric Acids
  • sulfuric acid