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Original article
Multidimensional analysis of the effect of occupational exposure to organic solvents on lung cancer risk: the ICARE study
  1. Francesca Mattei1,
  2. Silvia Liverani2,3,
  3. Florence Guida4,
  4. Mireille Matrat1,5,
  5. Sylvie Cenée1,
  6. Lamiae Azizi6,
  7. Gwenn Menvielle7,8,
  8. Marie Sanchez1,
  9. Corinne Pilorget9,10,
  10. Bénédicte Lapôtre-Ledoux11,
  11. Danièle Luce12,13,
  12. Sylvia Richardson3,
  13. Isabelle Stücker1,
  14. ICARE Study Group
    1. 1Université Paris Saclay, Univ. Paris-Sud, UVSQ, CESP, INSERM, Villejuif, France
    2. 2Department of Mathematics, Brunel University London, Uxbridge, UK
    3. 3MRC Biostatistics Unit, Cambridge Institute of Public Health, Cambridge Biomedical Campus, Cambridge, UK
    4. 4Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Imperial College London, MRC-PHE Centre for Environment and Health, School of Public Health, London, UK
    5. 5Faculty of Medicine IFR 10, University Paris Est-Créteil, Créteil, France
    6. 6University of Sydney, Sydney School of Public Health, Screening an Evaluation Test Program, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
    7. 7Department of social epidemiology, INSERM, UMR_S 1136, Pierre Louis Institute of Epidemiology and Public Health, Villejuif, France
    8. 8Department of social epidemiology, Sorbonne University, UPMC University of Paris 06, UMR_S 1136, Pierre Louis Institute of Epidemiology and Public Health, Villejuif, France
    9. 9French Institute for Public Health Surveillance, Saint-Maurice, France
    10. 10Epidemiological research and surveillance unit in transport, occupation and environment, Claude Bernard Lyon1 University, Lyon, France
    11. 11Somme Cancer Registry, Amiens, France
    12. 12INSERM, U 1085_IRSET, Pointe-à-Pitre, France
    13. 13University of Rennes 1, Rennes, France
    1. Correspondence to Francesca Mattei, CESP Centre for Research in Epidemiology and Population Health, 16 avenue Paul Vaillant Couturier, Villejuif Cedex 94807, France; francesca.mattei{at}


    Background The association between lung cancer and occupational exposure to organic solvents is discussed. Since different solvents are often used simultaneously, it is difficult to assess the role of individual substances.

    Objectives The present study is focused on an in-depth investigation of the potential association between lung cancer risk and occupational exposure to a large group of organic solvents, taking into account the well-known risk factors for lung cancer, tobacco smoking and occupational exposure to asbestos.

    Methods We analysed data from the Investigation of occupational and environmental causes of respiratory cancers (ICARE) study, a large French population-based case–control study, set up between 2001 and 2007. A total of 2276 male cases and 2780 male controls were interviewed, and long-life occupational history was collected. In order to overcome the analytical difficulties created by multiple correlated exposures, we carried out a novel type of analysis based on Bayesian profile regression.

    Results After analysis with conventional logistic regression methods, none of the 11 solvents examined were associated with lung cancer risk. Through a profile regression approach, we did not observe any significant association between solvent exposure and lung cancer. However, we identified clusters at high risk that are related to occupations known to be at risk of developing lung cancer, such as painters.

    Conclusions Organic solvents do not appear to be substantial contributors to the occupational risk of lung cancer for the occupations known to be at risk.

    • Occupational exposure
    • Organic solvents
    • Lung cancer
    • Bayesian profile regression

    This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:

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