Risk excess of soft-tissue sarcoma and thyroid cancer in a community exposed to airborne organochlorinated compound mixtures with a high hexachlorobenzene content

Int J Cancer. 1994 Jan 15;56(2):200-3. doi: 10.1002/ijc.2910560209.


Unusually high levels of hexachlorobenzene (HCB) were detected in the air and in sera of volunteers of a village located in the vicinity of an organochlorinated-compounds factory (Flix, Catalonia, Spain). A significant increase for specific causes of death was obtained only for neoplasms of unknown origin. However, an excess of incident cases was observed for thyroid neoplasms, soft-tissue sarcoma and brain neoplasms in men. These descriptive findings are in agreement with previously reported associations between soft-tissue sarcoma and human exposure to organochlorinated compounds, as well as with animal experiments relating HCB and thyroid cancer, and add new information on the possible relation between organochlorinated compounds, and particularly HCB, and cancer.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Air Pollutants / adverse effects*
  • Female
  • Hexachlorobenzene / adverse effects*
  • Hexachlorobenzene / blood
  • Humans
  • Hydrocarbons, Chlorinated / adverse effects*
  • Hydrocarbons, Chlorinated / blood
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Neoplasms / blood
  • Neoplasms / chemically induced
  • Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Sarcoma / blood
  • Sarcoma / chemically induced*
  • Sarcoma / epidemiology
  • Soft Tissue Neoplasms / blood
  • Soft Tissue Neoplasms / chemically induced*
  • Soft Tissue Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Spain / epidemiology
  • Thyroid Neoplasms / blood
  • Thyroid Neoplasms / chemically induced*
  • Thyroid Neoplasms / epidemiology


  • Air Pollutants
  • Hydrocarbons, Chlorinated
  • Hexachlorobenzene