Cancer in persons working in dry cleaning in the Nordic countries.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Elsebeth Lynge, Aage Andersen, Lars Rylander, Håkan Tinnerberg, Marja-Liisa Lindbohm, Eero Pukkala, Pål Romundstad, Per Jensen, Lene Bjørk Clausen, Kristina Johansen

U.S. studies have reported an increased risk of esophageal and some other cancers in dry cleaners exposed to tetrachloroethylene. We investigated whether the U.S. findings could be reproduced in the Nordic countries using a series of case-control studies nested in cohorts of laundry and dry-cleaning workers identified from the 1970 censuses in Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and Finland. Dry-cleaning work in the Nordic countries during the period when tetrachloroethylene was the dominant solvent was not associated with an increased risk of esophageal cancer [rate ratio (RR) = 0.76; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.34-1.69], but our study was hampered by some unclassifiable cases. The risks of cancer of the gastric cardia, liver, pancreas, and kidney and non-Hodgkin lymphoma were not significantly increased.Assistants in dry-cleaning shops had a borderline significant excess risk of cervical cancer not found in women directly involved in dry cleaning. We found an excess risk of bladder cancer (RR = 1.44; 95% CI, 1.07-1.93) not associated with length of employment. The finding of no excess risk of esophageal cancer in Nordic dry cleaners differs from U.S. findings. Chance, differences in level of exposure to tetrachloroethylene, and confounding may explain the findings. The overall evidence on bladder cancer in dry cleaners is equivocal.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEnvironmental Health Perspectives
Volume114
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)213-9
Number of pages6
ISSN0091-6765
Publication statusPublished - 2006

Bibliographical note

Keywords: Case-Control Studies; Employment; Finland; Humans; Incidence; Neoplasms; Occupational Exposure; Risk Factors; Scandinavia; Solvents; Tetrachloroethylene

ID: 5015988