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Cancer 2
  1. R. S. Koskela,
  2. J. A. Sorsa,
  3. A. Koski,
  4. P. Mutanen
  1. Finnish Institute of Occupational Health

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    The study investigated long-term effects of exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) on foundry workers’ morbidity from lung cancer.


    This study comprised 931 men hired in 1950–1972 by 20 foundries. The men were still actively working in foundries in 1972, had been potentially exposed to PAHs for at least 4.2 years, and took part in a health examination in 1973. A questionnaire on working history and smoking habits was carried out in 1973 and in 1993. Cancer morbidity was followed from the Finnish Cancer Register. Workers were classified into PAH exposure categories based on the measurements of PAH in 1972. The statistical method was person-year analysis. The observed numbers of lung cancer were tested against the national (sex-, age-, and period-specific) expected numbers by the Poisson distribution model.


    During the follow-up (1953–2002) 60 lung cancer cases occurred (exp 44.9, SIR 134, 95% CI 102 to 172), 35 cases were from iron foundries (exp 27.2, SIR 129, 95% CI 90 to 179), 34 of them with at least 25 latency years (exp 23.3, SIR 146, 95% CI 101 to 204); 23 cases were from steel foundries (exp 15.9, SIR 144, 95% CI 92 to 217), 20 of them with at least 25 latency years (exp 12.8, SIR 157, 95% CI 96 to 242); and only two cases from non-ferrous foundries. Of the 34 lung cancer patients with at least 25 years of latency, 17 had been heavily exposed to PAHs in iron foundries (exp 9.6, SIR 177, CI 95% 103 to 283), and of them 14 had at least 40 years of latency (exp 4.8, SIR 289, CI 158 to 485). Of the same 34 patients, 16 had some, miscellaneous, or low exposure to PAHs (exp 13.7, SIR 117, 95% CI 67 to 190), and of them six had at least …

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