A New Zealand Cancer Registry-based study of cancer in wood workers

Cancer. 1989 Dec 15;64(12):2609-13. doi: 10.1002/1097-0142(19891215)64:12<2609::aid-cncr2820641234>3.0.co;2-e.


Wood workers have been previously reported to be at higher risk for the development of cancers of certain sites, including the nasal cavity, paranasal sinuses, lung, stomach, and lymphatic and hemopoietic tissues. Wood work involves exposure to a variety of potential carcinogens, including wood dust itself, chemicals applied to the wood, and other carcinogenic agents that are associated with wood work. We report a series of case-control studies based on the New Zealand Cancer Registry. These studies involved 19,904 male patients registered with cancer from 1980 to 1984 who were 20 years of age or older at the time of registration. For each cancer site studied, the registrants for all other sites (except lung cancer) formed the control group. The following four cancer sites were found to be associated with wood work: lip, nasopharynx, lung, and liver. There was little evidence of increased risks for other cancer sites. Among wood workers, sawmillers experienced the highest risks for lung cancer (odds ratio, 1.76; 95% confidence interval, 1.23 to 2.52) and liver cancer (odds ratio, 3.55; 95% confidence interval, 1.09 to 0.14). Carpenters showed increased risks for lip cancer (odds ratio, 2.28; 95% confidence interval, 1.23 to 4.14) and lung cancer (odds ratio, 1.27; 95% confidence interval, 1.05 to 1.54). The increased risk of nasopharyngeal cancer was strongest for foresters and loggers (odds ratio, 6.02; 95% confidence interval, 1.01 to 28.41).

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Humans
  • Lip Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nasopharyngeal Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • New Zealand
  • Occupational Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Occupations
  • Registries / statistics & numerical data*
  • Wood*