Original article

Scand J Work Environ Health 1990;16(6):394-400    pdf


Formaldehyde exposure and respiratory cancer among woodworkers--an update.

by Partanen T, Kauppinen T, Hernberg S, Nickels J, Luukkonen R, Hakulinen T, Pukkala E

Respiratory cancer was examined in relation to occupational formaldehyde exposure in a case-referent study (136 cases, 408 referents) nested in a woodworker cohort. Plant- and time-specific job-exposure matrices were constructed for formaldehyde exposure. Over 3 ppm-months of formaldehyde exposure was associated with an odds ratio of 1.4 [90% confidence interval (90% CI) 0.5-4.1]. The odds ratios for lung cancer were near unity, the excess risk concentrating on the upper respiratory tract. That for combined exposure to formaldehyde-phenol exposure (all respiratory cancers) was 1.6 (90% CI 0.6-4.4) but 1.0 for formaldehyde only. No consistent exposure-response patterns emerged for the level, duration, or cumulative exposure. The results are hardly more than debatable support for the hypothesis concerning formaldehyde as a carcinogen in humans, the possible risk seemingly concentrating on the upper respiratory tract rather than the lung.

The following article refers to this text: 2013;39(4):401-410