Industries and cancer

Cancer Causes Control. 1997 May;8(3):356-70. doi: 10.1023/a:1018405321141.


Epidemiologic evidence on the relationship between selected industries and cancer is reviewed. This article will focus on several industries which have not been covered elsewhere in this volume, briefly describe current research on cancer in the agricultural and construction industries, and discuss surveillance data on cancer mortality in relation to industry listed on US death certificates. Employment in the rubber industry has been associated with bladder cancer, leukemia, stomach, and lung cancer and is considered by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) to have 'sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in humans.' Studies of workers exposed to polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) have reported excess mortality from gastrointestinal neoplasms, hematologic neoplasms, and skin cancer (specifically malignant melanoma); IARC considers that the evidence for carcinogenicity in humans is 'limited.' Employment in the boot and shoe industry has been associated with nasal adenocarcinomas in England and Italy ('sufficient'). Hairdressers and barbers have been found to have excess bladder cancer and less consistent evidence for several other sites ('limited'). Workers exposed to wood dust have excess mortality from cancer of the nasal sinuses and paranasal cavities; there is less consistent evidence for excess laryngeal cancer ('sufficient'). Workers employed in the petroleum industry have limited evidence for excess leukemia and other lymphatic and hematopoietic neoplasms, and skin cancer (particularly malignant melanoma) ('limited').

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / epidemiology
  • Agriculture
  • Beauty Culture
  • Carcinogens / adverse effects*
  • Construction Materials
  • Death Certificates
  • Dust / adverse effects
  • Europe / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Gastrointestinal Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Hematologic Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Industry*
  • Laryngeal Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Leukemia / epidemiology
  • Lung Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Lymphoma / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Melanoma / epidemiology
  • Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Neoplasms / mortality
  • Nose Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Occupational Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Occupational Diseases / mortality
  • Paranasal Sinus Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Paranasal Sinus Neoplasms / mortality
  • Petroleum
  • Polychlorinated Biphenyls / adverse effects
  • Population Surveillance
  • Rubber / adverse effects
  • Shoes
  • Skin Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Stomach Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Wood


  • Carcinogens
  • Dust
  • Petroleum
  • Rubber
  • Polychlorinated Biphenyls