Cancer mortality and solvent exposures in the rubber industry

Am Ind Hyg Assoc J. 1984 Dec;45(12):809-11. doi: 10.1080/15298668491400683.


Some evidence suggests that solvent exposures to rubber industry workers may be associated with excess cancer mortality, but most studies of rubber workers lack information about specific chemical exposures. In one large rubber and tire-manufacturing plant, however, historical documents allowed a classification of jobs based on potential exposures to all solvents that were authorized for use in the plant. A case-control analysis of a 6678 member cohort compared the solvent exposure histories of a 20% age-stratified random sample of the cohort with those of cohort members who died during 1964-1973 from stomach cancer, respiratory system cancer, prostate cancer, lymphosarcoma, or lymphatic leukemia. Of these cancers, only lymphosarcoma and lymphatic leukemia showed significant positive associations with any of the potential solvent exposures. Lymphatic leukemia was especially strongly related to carbon tetrachloride (OR = 15.3, p less than .0001) and carbon disulfide (OR = 8.9, p = .0003). Lymphosarcoma showed similar, but weaker, associations with these two solvents. Benzene, a suspected carcinogen, was not significantly associated with any of the cancers.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Carbon Disulfide / adverse effects
  • Carbon Tetrachloride / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Leukemia, Lymphoid / chemically induced
  • Lymphatic Diseases / chemically induced
  • Lymphoma, Non-Hodgkin / chemically induced
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / chemically induced
  • Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Occupational Diseases / mortality*
  • Rubber*
  • Solvents / adverse effects*


  • Solvents
  • Rubber
  • Carbon Tetrachloride
  • Carbon Disulfide