Original article

Scand J Work Environ Health 2000;26(6):476-481    pdf

doi:10.5271/sjweh.571

Bladder cancer in the textile industry

by Serra C, Bonfill X, Sunyer J, Urrutia G, Turuguet D, Bastús R, Roqué M, 't Mannetje A, Kogevinas M, Working Group on the Study of Bladder Cancer in the County of Vallès Occidental

Objectives This study examined the occupations and industries at high risk for bladder cancer in an area where the textile industry is plentiful and the incidence of the disease is very high.

Methods A case-referent study concerning 218 incident bladder cancer cases diagnosed during 1993-1995 in the county of Vallès Occidental, Barcelona, was carried out. A reference group (N=344) was selected from municipal lists matched to the cases by age, gender, and area of residence. All the subjects were personally interviewed, and a complete occupational history was abstracted together with other sociodemographic and life-style factors. All odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) were adjusted for age, gender, and smoking.

Results No overall excess risk was found for ever having worked in the textile industry (OR 1.13, 95% CI 0.79-1.63) nor for specific sectors of this industry (ie cotton, wool, silk). An excess risk was observed for spinners and winders employed for more than 20 years (OR 3.28, 95% CI 1.08-9.97) and for machine setters employed between 1960 and 1974 (OR 4.26, 95% CI 1.09-16.7).

Conclusions The results of this study do not support the findings of some earlier studies for an increased bladder cancer risk in the textile industry. However, some elevated risks were observed among the workers with the highest exposures.