Wood dust and sino-nasal cancer: pooled reanalysis of twelve case-control studies

Am J Ind Med. 1995 Aug;28(2):151-66. doi: 10.1002/ajim.4700280202.


In order to examine the relationship between wood dust and sino-nasal cancer, data from 12 case-control studies conducted in seven countries were pooled and reanalyzed. The relative risks associated with wood-related jobs and with exposure to wood dust, measured using a job exposure matrix based on occupation and industry titles, were examined using logistic regression. The combined data set consisted of 680 male cases, 2,349 male controls, 250 female cases, and 787 female controls. A high risk of adenocarcinoma among men was associated with employment in wood-related occupations (odds ratio [OR] = 13.5, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 9.0-20.0) and the risk was greatest among men who had been employed in jobs with the highest wood dust exposure (OR = 45.5, 95% CI = 28.3-72.9) and increased with duration of exposure. The risk of adenocarcinoma also appeared elevated among women employed in wood-related jobs (OR = 2.5, 95% CI = 0.5-12.3), but the small number of exposed cases precluded detailed analysis. Women in wood dust-exposed jobs appeared to have an excess of squamous cell carcinoma (OR = 2.1, 95% CI = 0.8-5.5) which increased with duration of exposure. An increased risk of squamous cell carcinoma in men was seen only among those employed for 30 or more years in jobs with exposure to fresh wood (OR = 2.4, 95% CI = 1.1-5.0). The results of this analysis provide strong support to the association between exposure to wood dust in a variety of occupations and the risk of sino-nasal adenocarcinoma and are consistent with the results of individual participating studies, although the magnitude of the excess risk varied. The evidence in regard to squamous cell carcinomas was ambiguous and there was a great deal of heterogeneity observed in individual study results. This may be due to differences in risk associated with exposure to hardwoods and softwoods or with other, as yet to be identified, aspects of exposure.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / epidemiology
  • Adenocarcinoma / etiology*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / epidemiology
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / etiology*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Dust*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Nose Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Nose Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Occupational Diseases / epidemiology
  • Occupational Diseases / etiology*
  • Occupational Exposure
  • Odds Ratio
  • Paranasal Sinus Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Paranasal Sinus Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Wood*


  • Dust