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Formaldehyde and cancer: current evidence and future perspectives
M1.1 EPIDEMIOLOGICAL STUDIES OF FORMALDEHYDE AND CANCER: RECENT RESULTS AND THEIR INTERPRETATION
M. Hauptmann.National Cancer Institute, NIH/DHHS, Bethesda, Maryland, USA
Formaldehyde is a chemical of enormous economic impact, with a worldwide production of over 12 million tons in 1992. It is used in the production of resins, moulding compounds, photographic film, decorative laminates and plywood, and as a bactericide and tissue preservative. Approximately 1.5 million workers are exposed to formaldehyde in the USA, and about 1 million in the European Union. Formaldehyde carcinogenicity has been studied extensively over the last 30 years and it is carcinogenic in animal bioassays. The human data have been less clear. Recently, results from three updated cohort studies of industrial workers have been published in 2003 and 2004, and this summer the International Agency for Research on Cancer re-reviewed formaldehyde and changed its evaluation from probably carcinogenic (class 2A) to carcinogenic for humans (class 1) based on nasopharyngeal cancer, a very rare cancer. Several earlier studies of embalmers and pathologists and two of the three recently updated cohort studies suggest a possible association between formaldehyde exposure and leukaemia. The potential impact of these findings, particularly for risk assessment, is a subject of controversial discussion in the scientific community. This presentation will give an overview of the major epidemiological studies and address some of the challenges in interpreting the results. It will set the stage for the subsequent presentations of diverse areas of research into formaldehyde carcinogenicity and provide the epidemiological basis for the discussion.
M1.2 AN UPDATED META-ANALYSIS OF FORMALDEHYDE AND RESPIRATORY CANCER
D. M. McElvenny1,2, B. G. Armstrong1.1Public and Environmental …