An epidemiological study on cancer in certified arsenic poisoning patients in Toroku

Ind Health. 1990;28(2):53-62. doi: 10.2486/indhealth.28.53.


A mortality study has been made to assess the carcinogenic effect of arsenic exposure by analyzing a group of certified chronic arsenic poisoning patients at a small mining village in Japan. When compared with expected number of deaths, based on sex-, age-specific mortality of Japanese in 1975, '80 and '85, all cancer, cancer of respiratory system and cancer of bladder, kidney and other and unspecified urinary organs showed a significant excess over the expected number. Divided by employment history, death due to all cancers, to respiratory cancer and to urinary tract cancer showed a significant excess among former workers of the mine. Classified into four cohorts by both employment history and smoking habit, death from respiratory cancer showed a significant excess only in the cohort respiratory cancer showed a significant excess only in the cohort of former workers with smoking history, suggesting an interaction between exposure to arsenic and smoking. Eight cases among ten respiratory cancers and two urinary tract cancer cases were accompanied by cancer of other organs, including Bowen's disease.

MeSH terms

  • Arsenic Poisoning*
  • Humans
  • Japan / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Mining*
  • Neoplasms / chemically induced
  • Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Occupational Diseases / mortality*
  • Survival Rate