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Occupational solvent exposure and risk of meningioma: results from the INTEROCC multicentre case–control study
  1. Dave McLean1,
  2. Sarah Fleming2,
  3. Michelle C Turner3,4,5,
  4. Laurel Kincl6,
  5. Lesley Richardson7,
  6. Geza Benke8,
  7. Brigitte Schlehofer9,
  8. Klaus Schlaefer9,
  9. Marie-Elise Parent10,
  10. Martine Hours11,
  11. Daniel Krewski12,
  12. Martie van Tongeren13,
  13. Siegal Sadetzki14,
  14. Jack Siemiatycki7,
  15. Elisabeth Cardis3,4,5
  1. 1Centre for Public Health Research, Massey University, Wellington, New Zealand
  2. 2University of Leeds, Leeds, UK
  3. 3Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology (CREAL), Barcelona, Spain
  4. 4Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF), Barcelona, Spain
  5. 5CIBER Epidemiología y salud Pública (CIBERESP), Barcelona, Spain
  6. 6Oregon State University, Corvallis, USA
  7. 7University of Montreal Hospital Research Centre (CRCHUM), Montreal, Canada
  8. 8Monash University, Melbourne, Australia
  9. 9Unit of Environmental Epidemiology, DKFZ, Heidelberg, Germany
  10. 10INRS-Institut Armand-Frappier, Montreal, Canada
  11. 11IFSTTAR, Lyon, France
  12. 12University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada
  13. 13Institute of Occupational Medicine, Edinburgh, UK
  14. 14Gertner Institute, Chaim Sheba Medical Centre & Tel Aviv university, Tel Aviv, Israel
  1. Correspondence to Dr David McLean, Centre for Public Health Research, Massey University, 102 Adelaide Road, Wellington 6021, New Zealand; d.j.mclean{at}


Objective To examine associations between occupational exposure to selected organic solvents and meningioma.

Methodology A multicentre case–control study conducted in seven countries, including 1906 cases and 5565 controls. Occupational exposure to selected classes of organic solvents (aliphatic and alicyclic hydrocarbons, aromatic hydrocarbons, chlorinated hydrocarbons and ‘other’ organic solvents) or seven specific solvents (benzene, toluene, trichloroethylene, perchloroethylene, 1,1,1-trichloroethylene, methylene chloride and gasoline) was assessed using lifetime occupational histories and a modified version of the FINJEM job-exposure matrix (INTEROCC-JEM). Study participants were classified as ‘exposed’ when they had worked in an occupation for at least 1 year, with a 5-year lag, in which the estimated prevalence of exposure was 25% or greater in the INTEROCC-JEM. Associations between meningioma and each of the solvent exposures were estimated using conditional logistic regression, adjusting for potential confounders.

Results A total of 6.5% of study participants were ever exposed to ‘any’ solvent, with a somewhat greater proportion of controls (7%) ever exposed compared with cases (5%), but only one case was ever exposed to any chlorinated hydrocarbon (1,1,1-trichloroethane). No association was observed between any of the organic solvents and meningioma, in either men or women, and no dose–response relationships were observed in internal analyses using either exposure duration or cumulative exposure.

Discussion We found no evidence that occupational exposure to these organic solvents is associated with meningioma.

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