Original article

Scand J Work Environ Health 1983;9(1):25-29    pdf

doi:10.5271/sjweh.2446

A case-referent study on nasal cancer and exposure to wood dust in the province of Siena, Italy.

by Battista G, Cavallucci F, Comba P, Quercia A, Vindigni C, Sartorelli E

The aim of the present study was to assess the risk of nasal cancer associated with exposure to dust in the wood and furniture industry in the province of Siena, Italy. Four to seven percent of the active male population is employed in this sector. A case-referent approach was used. The cases included male subjects seen at the Ear, Nose and Throat Clinic and the Radiotherapy Unit of Siena and diagnosed as having cancer of the nasal cavities or paranasal sinuses between 1963 and 1981. The referents were male patients admitted to the Medical Clinic of Siena for all causes except nasal neoplasia; they were matched 5:1 to the cancer patients for age and time of admission. Information was gathered (by postal questionnaires) on the occupational histories of all 36 of the cancer patients and 164 of the 180 referents. The odds ratio associated with exposure to wood dust was 5.4 (1.7-17.2) for all carcinomas, and 87.7 (19.8-407.3) for mucinous adenocarcinoma. The woods used by the exposed cancer patients were mainly oak, chestnut, poplar, and fir. The median duration of exposure was 40 years; no exposed cancer patient reported the presence of exhaust systems in their work environment.