Objective: To estimate the lung cancer risk attributable to occupational lung carcinogens.
Methods: Information was collected through interviews from 2624 newly diagnosed lung cancer cases and 2690 frequency-matched controls in Central and Eastern Europe. Industrial hygiene experts evaluated exposure to 70 occupational agents. Odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were estimated using unconditional logistic regression and attributable fractions (AF) by Miettinen's formula.
Results: Exposure to at least one occupational lung carcinogen resulted in an AF of 7.9% in men and 1.4% in women. Metals and silica contributed the most to the AF. The AF was highest for squamous cell carcinoma among men (11.4%) and for small cell carcinoma among women (7.1%); the effect of occupational lung carcinogens was stronger overall among current smokers.
Conclusion: This estimation of the AF of occupational lung carcinogens is comparable to that estimated in other European studies, and cannot alone explain the high lung cancer rates in Central and Eastern Europe.