The histological distribution of lung cancer was investigated in 93 men who had worked at a Swedish smelter with high levels of arsenic. A comparison was made with a group of 136 patients with lung cancer from the county where the smelter was located. Company records provided information on occupational exposure and data on smoking habits were obtained from a next of kin of each subject. No pronounced differences in the histological types of lung carcinomas between smelter workers and the reference group could be seen for smokers. Some analyses indicated an increased proportion of adenocarcinomas among the smelter workers, which confirmed earlier data, but these findings were difficult to interpret. Cases among smelter workers who had never smoked showed a histological distribution resembling that in smokers, indicating that the work environment at the smelter and smoking had a similar influence on the risk for different types of lung cancer.
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