Objective: To investigate the role of occupational exposure to chlorinated solvents in lung cancer aetiology.
Methods: ICARE (Investigation of occupational and environmental CAuses of REspiratory cancers) is a French, multicentre, population-based, case-control study. Information on the lifelong work history of 2926 cases and 3555 controls was collected using standardised questionnaires. Occupational exposures were assessed using job-exposure matrices for five chlorinated solvents. Solvents were studied separately and in combinations. ORs were computed using unconditional logistic regression models adjusted for classic risk factors, including a history of cigarette smoking and exposure to asbestos. Adjustment for socioeconomic status (SES) was also made.
Results: After adjustment for exposure to asbestos, we observed a positive, statistically significant association with lung cancer for men and women exposed to a combination of perchloroethylene (PCE), trichloroethylene and dichloromethane (DCM). Further adjustment for SES slightly decreased this association. In contrast, no statistically significant associations were found for other solvent combinations.
Conclusions: These results suggest that exposure to PCE may constitute a risk factor for lung cancer, especially among women, who seem to have a higher prevalence of exposure than men.
Keywords: Case-Control Study; Chlorinated Solvents; Lung Cancer; Occupational Exposure.
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