Cancer incidence among Ontario police officers

Am J Ind Med. 1998 Aug;34(2):157-62. doi: 10.1002/(sici)1097-0274(199808)34:2<157::aid-ajim8>;2-u.


The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) published a report in 1995 suggesting the possibility of increased incidence of testicular cancer, leukemia, and cancers of the brain, eye, and skin among police officers working with traffic radar. NIOSH recommended epidemiologic study of the issue. This report presents the results of a retrospective cohort cancer incidence study among 22,197 officers employed by 83 Ontario police departments. The standardized incidence ration (SIR) for all tumors sites was 0.9% (95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.83-0.98). There was an increased incidence of testicular cancer (SIR = 1.3, 90% CI = 0.9-1.8) and melanoma skin cancer (SIR = 1.45, 90% CI = 1.1-1.9). These anatomical sites might absorb energy from radar units, but at this time the author has no information about individual exposures to radar emissions, and it is not possible to draw etiologic conclusions. Nested case-control studies are planned to assess individual radar exposures.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cohort Studies
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Female
  • Healthy Worker Effect
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Melanoma / epidemiology
  • Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Occupational Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Ontario / epidemiology
  • Police*
  • Radar
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Skin Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Testicular Neoplasms / epidemiology