A new comprehensive data linkage system for the detailed investigation of occupational cancer has been established in the Danish Cancer Registry, providing employment histories back to 1964. All 382 cases of cancers of the sinonasal cavities diagnosed between 1970 and 1984 and kept on file in this data linkage system were analysed using standardised proportional incidence ratios (SPIR) to screen for industrial high risk areas for these malignancies in Denmark. Excess risks were confirmed among men and women employed in the manufacture of footwear and other leather products and of wooden furniture. No risk significantly above expectancy was observed among wood workers outside the furniture making industry. Excess risks were also seen among men in all areas of basic metal industries (SPIR = 184-562) and in a subset of workers in industries producing metal containers (SPIR = 329-600). Most unexpected were raised risks among employees of both sexes in making cocoa, chocolate, and sugar confectionery (SPIR = 535 for men and 860 for women); these, in combination with the observed risks among female employees in canning and preserving fruits and vegetables (SPIR = 778) and in farming (SPIR = 735) may point to a common aetiology. The obscuring effect of mass significance may, however, be another explanation. The new associations discovered in this large scale linkage study must therefore await further confirmation.
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