Use of job-exposure matrix in an occupational analysis of lung and bladder cancers on the basis of death certificates

J Natl Cancer Inst. 1984 Jan;72(1):61-5. doi: 10.1093/jnci/72.1.61.


A job-exposure matrix has been applied in a case-control study of lung and bladder cancer on the basis of occupational information abstracted from British death certificates. The expected association between lung cancer and jobs entailing exposure to asbestos was clearly demonstrated (relative risk, 1.5; 95% confidence interval, 1.2-1.9). The effects of three other known industrial carcinogens were not apparent, and reasons for this were discussed. Also included in the matrix were five substances whose carcinogenicity in humans has not been established. Formaldehyde, diesel fumes, and cutting oils were all associated with carcinoma of the bronchus, but the absence of a risk in "high-exposure" occupations was against a causal relationship. Bladder cancer was more common in jobs involving high exposure to printing inks (relative risk, 5.0; 95% confidence interval, 1.0-25.8) and cutting oils (relative risk, 1.5; 95% confidence interval, 0.8-2.8). Use of the job-exposure matrix added considerably to the conventional analysis of cancer risk in individual occupational categories.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Arsenic / adverse effects
  • Asbestos / adverse effects
  • Carcinoma, Bronchogenic / etiology*
  • Chemical Industry
  • Chromates / adverse effects
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Construction Materials / adverse effects
  • Cooking
  • Death Certificates
  • Engineering
  • England
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Male
  • Military Personnel
  • Occupational Diseases / etiology*
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / etiology*


  • Chromates
  • Asbestos
  • Arsenic