Causal relationship from exposure to chemicals in oil refining and chemical industries and malignant melanoma

Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2006 Sep;1076:822-8. doi: 10.1196/annals.1371.005.


Malignant melanoma has been thought to be related mainly to exposure to the sun or radiation. A review of the scientific literature reveals many significant correlations between benzene and benzene-containing solvents in the workplace and the occurrence of malignant melanoma, particularly in sites that have never been exposed to sunlight. A comparison of positive correlations between such exposure and malignant melanoma by independent investigators and negative findings by investigators with industry affiliations reveals that this difference, at least in part, may account for the discrepant findings. Based on independent studies, it is reasonable to conclude that malignant melanoma is causally related to employment-related chemical exposures in the petroleum refining industry.

MeSH terms

  • Chemical Industry*
  • Humans
  • Melanoma / chemically induced*
  • Occupational Exposure*
  • Petroleum*
  • Risk Factors


  • Petroleum