Article Text


Lung cancer
Exposure to carbon black and lung cancer risk in a multicentre case-control study in Central and Eastern Europe and the United Kingdom
  1. Nualnong Wongtongkam1,
  2. Ann Olsson2,
  3. Maria Leon Roux2,
  4. Anush Mukeriya3,
  5. Neonila Szeszenia-Dabrowska4,
  6. Peter Rudnai5,
  7. Jolanta Lissowska6,
  8. Eleonora Fabianova7,
  9. Adrian Cassidy8,
  10. Dana Mates9,
  11. Vladimir Bencko10,
  12. Lenka Foretova11,
  13. Vladimir Janout12,
  14. Joelle Fevotte13,
  15. Tony Fletcher14,
  16. Andrea ‘t Mannetje15,
  17. Paul Brennan2,
  18. Paolo Boffetta16,
  19. Kurt Straif2
  1. 1Flinders University, Adelaide, Australia
  2. 2IARC, Lyon, France
  3. 3Cancer Research Center, Moscow, Russia
  4. 4Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine, Lodz, Poland
  5. 5National Institute of Environmental Health, Budapest, Hungary
  6. 6Institute of Oncology, Warsaw, Poland
  7. 7Specialized State Health Institute, Banska Bystrica, Slovakia
  8. 8University of Liverpool, Liverpool, UK
  9. 9Instituteof Hygiene, Bucharest, Romania
  10. 10Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic
  11. 11Masaryk Institute, Brno, Czech Republic
  12. 12Palacky University, Olomouc, Czech Republic
  13. 13InVS/DST, Saint Maurice, France
  14. 14LSHTM, London, UK
  15. 15Massey University, Wellington, New Zealand
  16. 16Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, USA


Objectives We estimated the lung cancer risk following occupational exposure to carbon black while adjusting for smoking, and explored the effect of time-windows of carbon black exposure since recent studies have hypothesised that recent exposure is the most important time-window for carbon black exposure.

Methods The multicenter case-control study on lung cancer was conducted from 1998 to 2002 in seven European countries; 2861 cases and 2936 controls were recruited. Occupational and socio-demographic information was collected through interviews. Industrial hygiene experts in each country evaluated exposure to 70 occupational agents, including carbon black. Unconditional logistic regression models were applied to calculate ORs and 95% CIs adjusting for centre, sex, other occupational exposures and tobacco smoking.

Results The OR for ever exposure to carbon black was 1.64 (95% CI 1.09 to 2.46). We observed a significant dose-response trend for maximum intensity (p-value, 0.02) and average intensity (p-value, 0.03). The OR for the highest exposure category of cumulative exposure in the last 15-years was OR 3.32 (95% CI 1.22 to 9.03).

Conclusions The results show an association between occupational exposure to carbon black and lung cancer risk, and a significant dose-response relationship with increasing intensity. The most recent 15 years appear to be the most relevant time of exposure.

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