Original article

Scand J Work Environ Health 1983;9(4):315-326    pdf

doi:10.5271/sjweh.2405

Nasal and sinonasal cancer. Connection with occupational exposures in Denmark, Finland and Sweden.

by Hernberg S, Westerholm P, Schultz-Larsen K, Degerth R, Kuosma E, Englund A, Engzell U, Hansen HS, Mutanen P

A joint Danish-Finnish-Swedish case-referent investigation was initiated in 1977 in order to study the connection between nasal and sinonasal cancer and various occupational exposures. All new cases of nasal and sinonasal cancer were collected from the national cancer registers (Finland and Sweden) or from the hospitals (Denmark). Those still alive who agreed to an interview (N = 167) were individually matched for age and sex with patients with colonic or rectal cancer. A detailed telephone interview was made according to standardized forms. Both cases and referents thought that their condition was the one under study. The exposures were coded blindly by an industrial hygienist. The results showed associations between nasal and sinonasal cancer and exposure to (i) hardwood or mixed wood dust (discordant pairs 14: 2), (ii) softwood dust alone (13:4), (iii) chromium (16: 6), (iv) nickel (12: 5, not significant), (v) welding, flame-cutting and soldering (17: 6), and (vi) lacquers and paints (14: 0). The last finding was probably due to confounding from wood dust exposure. Hardwood dust exposure was associated with adenocarcinoma. Softwood dust exposure alone was associated with epidermoid and anaplastic carcinomas. No associations were found for a number of exposures, including agricultural chemicals, textile dust, asbestos, quartz dust, organic solvents and leather work. Possible exposure to formaldehyde was evenly distributed between the cases and referents.