Epidemiological study of nasal and nasopharyngeal cancer and their relation to phenoxy acid or chlorophenol exposure

Am J Ind Med. 1982;3(3):247-57. doi: 10.1002/ajim.4700030304.


Soft tissue sarcoma and malignant lymphoma have been related to exposure to chlorinated phenoxy acids or chlorophenols as well as exposure to organic solvents and malignant lymphoma. However, colon cancer studied by the same case-referent design did not show any such associations, which helps to rule out alleged systematical bias of the study approach. Further considerations about exposure routes for phenoxy acids and chlorophenols suggested that nasal and nasopharyngeal cancers should be studied. Forty-four cases with nasal cancer and 27 cases with nasopharyngeal cancer were eligible for study during 1970-1979 together with 541 referents, as utilized also in the aforementioned studies. Exposure to phenoxy acids gave formally a doubled but insignificant risk for the studied cancer types. Exposure to chlorophenols, as present particularly in woodwork, was related to an about sevenfold and significant increase in the risk for both cancer types. In woodworkers without exposure to chlorophenols there was an approximate normal risk, but cabinet makers, even without exposure to chlorophenols, had nearly doubled (but insignificant) risk of nasal cancer.

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / chemically induced
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Carcinoma / chemically induced
  • Carcinoma, Adenoid Cystic / chemically induced
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / chemically induced
  • Chlorophenols / adverse effects*
  • Dust
  • Glycolates / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nasopharyngeal Neoplasms / chemically induced*
  • Nose Neoplasms / chemically induced*
  • Occupational Diseases / chemically induced*
  • Wood


  • Chlorophenols
  • Dust
  • Glycolates