Proportion of lung and bladder cancers in males resulting from occupation: a systematic approach

Arch Environ Health. 1991 Jan-Feb;46(1):6-15. doi: 10.1080/00039896.1991.9937423.


Studies conducted in several countries that investigated the relationship of occupation and cancer in men were reviewed and compared. Estimates of the proportion of cancers due to occupational exposure that occurred in the general population were analyzed, and sources of variation were explored. A systematic and standardized evaluation of studies on lung and bladder cancer were undertaken, and only investigations that allowed for confounding from tobacco smoking were included. The proportion of lung cancers attributable to occupation ranged between 1 and 5% (when considering only exposure to asbestos) and 40% (in a study with a high proportion of subjects exposed to ionizing radiation); for bladder cancer, estimates were between 0 and 3% in a few studies and between 16 and 24% in several investigations. No similar attempt of systematic comparison was possible for other cancers.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Asbestos / adverse effects
  • Epidemiologic Methods
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Lung Neoplasms / etiology
  • Occupational Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Occupations
  • Risk Factors
  • Smoking / adverse effects
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / etiology


  • Asbestos