Mortality studies of machining fluid exposure in the automobile industry. IV: A case-control study of lung cancer

Am J Ind Med. 1997 May;31(5):525-33. doi: 10.1002/(sici)1097-0274(199705)31:5<525::aid-ajim5>;2-s.


Machining fluids are diverse products that contain numerous additives and contaminants, including polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Studies treating machining fluids as an aggregate exposure have found both positive and negative associations with lung cancer. In this nested case-control study of automotive workers (667 cases and 3,041 matched controls), individual estimates of exposure quantity and duration for specific classes of machining fluids were derived. An inverse dose-response relationship was found between synthetic machining fluids and lung cancer mortality, with an odds ratio of 0.6 (95% CI = 0.4, 0.8) for the highest level of lifetime exposure. The relationship was strongest for recent exposures. There was little evidence of an association with soluble or straight oil machining fluids. Risks were inconsistently elevated in workers exposed to aluminum. Results from this study provide strong evidence that exposure to machining fluids is not associated with an increased risk of lung cancer mortality in automotive workers.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Aluminum / adverse effects
  • Automobiles*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Industrial Oils / adverse effects*
  • Logistic Models
  • Lung Neoplasms / etiology
  • Lung Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Male
  • Michigan / epidemiology
  • Nitrosamines / adverse effects
  • Occupational Diseases / etiology
  • Occupational Diseases / mortality*
  • Odds Ratio
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Sulfur / adverse effects
  • Triazines / adverse effects


  • Nitrosamines
  • Triazines
  • Sulfur
  • Aluminum