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Dinitrotoluene exposure in the copper mining industry and renal cancer: a case-cohort study
  1. Andreas Seidler1,
  2. Volker Harth2,3,
  3. Dirk Taeger3,
  4. Matthias Möhner4,
  5. Katarzyna Gawrych3,
  6. Annekatrin Bergmann5,
  7. Johannes Haerting5,
  8. Hans-Joachim Kahmann6,
  9. Hermann Maximilian Bolt7,
  10. Kurt Straif8,
  11. Thomas Brüning3
  1. 1Faculty of Medicine Carl Gustav Carus, Institute and Policlinic of Occupational and Social Medicine, Technische Universität Dresden, Dresden, Germany
  2. 2Institute for Occupational Medicine and Maritime Medicine, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany
  3. 3Institute for Prevention and Occupational Medicine of the German Social Accident Insurance, Institute of the Ruhr-Universität Bochum (IPA), Bochum, Germany
  4. 4Federal Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (BAuA), Berlin, Germany
  5. 5Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg, Institute for Medical Epidemiology, Biometrics and Informatics, Halle-Wittenberg, Germany
  6. 6BST Mansfeld, Niederröblingen, Germany
  7. 7Leibniz Research Centre for Working Environment and Human Factors (IfADo), Dortmund, Germany
  8. 8International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), Lyon, France
  1. Correspondence to Professor Dr Andreas Seidler, Medical Faculty of TU Dresden, Institute and Policlinic of Occupational and Social Medicine, Fetscherstr. 74, Dresden D-01307, Germany; andreas.seidler{at}


Objectives To evaluate the association between dinitrotoluene (DNT) exposure and renal cancer in a case-cohort study.

Methods This case-cohort study was conducted among men born between 1920 and 1974 (n=16 441) who were gainfully employed between 1953 and 1990 in one of two copper mines in Mansfeld, Saxony-Anhalt, former German Democratic Republic, and followed up till 31 December 2006. The study included 109 cases with renal cancer identified by record linkage with the Common Cancer Registry of the New Federal States of Germany (GKR) or by a network of pathology institutes. A comparison subcohort of 999 cohort members was selected at random from the total cohort. Duration and intensity of inhalation and dermal exposure to DNT were assessed on the basis of a job exposure matrix. A time-dependent Cox proportional hazards model modified for case-cohort design was used to assess the relationship between cumulative inhalation and dermal DNT exposure and renal cancer.

Results Elevated risks were found for medium (HR=2.73; 95% CI 1.00 to 7.42) and high (HR=1.81; 95% CI 0.75 to 4.33) dermal exposure to DNT. Relative risks for medium inhalation exposure to DNT were not increased (HR=0.93; 95% CI 0.48 to 1.79) while relative risks for high inhalation exposure to DNT were elevated to 1.36 (95% CI 0.84 to 2.21). We found a statistically significant HR of 2.12 (95% CI 1.03 to 4.37) for combined medium or high inhalation and medium or high dermal exposure to DNT.

Conclusions According to our case-cohort study, dermal and inhalation exposure to DNT is associated with increased renal cancer risk.

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