Objectives We investigated the relationship between lung cancer and occupational exposure to welding activity in ICARE, a population-based case–control study.
Methods Analyses were restricted to men (2276 cases, 2780 controls). Welding exposure was assessed through detailed questionnaires, including lifelong occupational history. ORs were computed using unconditional logistic regression, adjusted for lifelong cigarette smoking and occupational exposure to asbestos.
Results Among the regular welders, welding was associated with a risk of lung cancer (OR=1.7, 95% CI 1.1 to 2.5), which increased with the duration (OR=2.0, 95% CI 1.0 to 3.9 when duration >10 years), and was maximum 10–20 years since last welding. The risk was more pronounced in case of gas welding (OR=2.0, 95% CI 1.2 to 3.3), when the workpiece was covered by paint, grease, or other substances (OR=2.0, 95% CI 1.2 to 3.4) and when it was cleaned with chemical substances before welding. No statistically significant increase in lung cancer risk was observed among occasional welders.
Conclusions Although these results should be confirmed, we showed that type of welding and mode of workpiece preparation are important determinants of the lung cancer risk in regular welders.
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