Nasal cancer in leather workers: an occupational disease

J Cancer Res Clin Oncol. 1995;121(1):1-6. doi: 10.1007/BF01202722.


Nasal cancer has a number of causative agents; exposures to most of the established nasal carcinogens occur in the workplace. An increased risk of nasal cancer has been ascertained in shoe-making and shoe-repairing, but the results for leather goods manufacture and leather tanning don't provide adequate evidence of carcinogenicity. Findings from two epidemiological studies carried out in Italy (a case/control study and a case/series report) add further information on this issue. The case/control study was performed in the provinces of Siena (Tuscany), Verona and Vicenza (Venetia) including 96 cases and 378 controls. A significant increased risk (Odds Ratio: 6.8; 90% C.I. = 1.9-25) of sinonasal cancer was found for the employ in the whole leather industry; Odds Ratio of 8.3 (C.I. = 1.9-36) and 5.0 (C.I. = 0.92-28) were associated with shoe-making and leather tanning. The case/series report is based on 110 patients accepted in some Italian hospitals during last three years (1990-1993): 26 cases had worked in the leather industry; adenocarcinoma is the most frequent type observed. Chromium salts and natural tannins are indicated as possible aetiological agents.

Publication types

  • Editorial
  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Case-Control Studies
  • Humans
  • Italy / epidemiology
  • Nose Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Occupational Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Odds Ratio
  • Risk Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Tanning*