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Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and exposure to phenoxyherbicides, chlorophenols, fencing work, and meat works employment: a case-control study.
  1. N E Pearce,
  2. A H Smith,
  3. J K Howard,
  4. R A Sheppard,
  5. H J Giles,
  6. C A Teague


    A previous case-control study which used the occupational information available on the New Zealand Cancer Registry found that agricultural workers were at increased risk of developing non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. The findings are now presented for the second phase of the study which entailed interviewing 83 cases of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma registered under code 202 of the International Classification of Diseases together with 168 controls with other types of cancer and 228 general population controls. The findings for the two control groups were similar, and there were no significant differences between cases and controls regarding potential exposure to phenoxy-herbicides (odds ratio = 1.4, 90% confidence limits 0.7-2.5, p = 0.26) or chlorophenols (odds ratio = 1.3, 90% confidence limits 0.6-2.7, p = 0.39). The odds ratio for fencing work, necessitating exposure to several potential risk factors including arsenic and sodium pentachlorophenate was 2.0 (90% confidence limits 1.3-3.0, p = 0.01). The odds ratio for employment in a meat works, necessitating potential exposure to 2, 4, 6-trichlorophenol and zoonotic viruses, was 1.8 (90% confidence limits 1.1-3.1, p = 0.04). There was a significant statistical interaction between the risks associated with these two activities, the odds ratio for involvement in both activities compared with involvement in neither being 5.7 (90% confidence limits 2.3-14.3, p = 0.03).

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