Objectives Investigating the role of occupational exposure to solvents in the occurrence of lymphoid neoplasms (LNs) in men.
Methods The data were generated by a French hospital-based case-control study, conducted in six centres in 2000–2004. The cases were incident cases aged 18–75 years with a diagnosis of LN. During the same period, controls of the same age and gender as the cases were recruited in the same hospitals, mainly in the orthopaedic and rheumatological departments. Exposure to solvents was assessed using standardised occupational questionnaires and case-by-case expert assessment. Specific quantification of benzene exposure was attempted. The analyses included 491 male patients (244 cases of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL), 87 of Hodgkin's lymphoma, 104 of lymphoproliferative syndrome and 56 of multiple myeloma) and 456 male controls. Unconditional logistic regressions were used to estimate OR and 95% CI.
Results Solvent exposure, all solvents considered together, was marginally associated with NHL (OR=1.4 (1.0 to 2.0) p=0.06), but not with other LNs. No association with the main chemical series of solvents was observed. There was no trend with the average intensity or frequency of exposure. Exposure to pure benzene was not significantly related to NHL (OR=3.4 (0.8 to 15.0)). The highest maximum intensities of benzene exposure were associated with diffuse large cell lymphoma (OR=2.1 (1.0 to 4.6)).
Conclusion The results of the present study provide estimates compatible with the hypothesis that exposures to pure benzene and high benzene intensities may play a role in some NHL. There was no evidence for a role of other organic solvents in the occurrence of LN.
- retrospective exposure assessment
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Funding This work was supported by grants from the Association pour la Recherche contre le Cancer, the Fondation de France, AFSSET, and a donation from Faberge employees.
Competing interests None.
Ethics approval This study was conducted with the approval of the DGS (No. 2000/0107).
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.