Original article

Scand J Work Environ Health 1996;22(5):346-352    pdf

doi:10.5271/sjweh.152

Occupation and the risk of lung cancer in Uruguay

by De Stefani E, Kogevinas M, Boffetta P, Ronco A, Mendilaharsu M

Objectives The purpose of this study was to provide more information regarding the risk of lung cancer associated with asbestos, pesticides, and other exposures in the Uruguayan work force.

Methods This multisite case-referent study was part of a large project designed for evaluating the role of occupational exposures in cancer risk in Uruguay. According to the design employed, cases were a subset of the data base corresponding to a particular site (in this instance lung cancer), and they were compared with all other sites combined (referents).

Results Significant increases in risk associated with workers in the construction industry were mainly observed for squamous-cell carcinoma. Asbestos, silica dust, and DDT (dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane) exposure were also associated with increases in the risk of lung cancer. Pipefitters, bakers, and textile workers were also at increased risk of developing lung cancer.

Conclusion Workers employed in the construction industry, as well as those exposed to DDT may have an excess risk of lung cancer. These findings are particularly important in showing that developing countries like Uruguay display risk patterns of similar magnitude as those observed in developed communities.