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Am J Epidemiol. 2009 Jan 15;169(2):176-85. doi: 10.1093/aje/kwn300. Epub 2008 Dec 4.

Occupational exposure to solvents and risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma in Connecticut women.

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  • 1Division of Environmental Health Sciences, Yale University School of Public Health, New Haven, Connecticut 06520-8034, USA.


A population-based case-control study involving 601 incident cases of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) and 717 controls was conducted in 1996-2000 among Connecticut women to examine associations with exposure to organic solvents. A job-exposure matrix was used to assess occupational exposures. Increased risk of NHL was associated with occupational exposure to chlorinated solvents (odds ratio (OR) = 1.4, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.1, 1.8) and carbon tetrachloride (OR = 2.3, 95% CI: 1.3, 4.0). Those ever exposed to any organic solvent in work settings had a borderline increased risk of NHL (OR = 1.3, 95% CI: 1.0, 1.6); moreover, a significantly increased risk was observed for those with average probability of exposure to any organic solvent at medium-high level (OR = 1.5, 95% CI: 1.1, 1.9). A borderline increased risk was also found for ever exposure to formaldehyde (OR = 1.3, 95% CI: 1.0, 1.7) in work settings. Risk of NHL increased with increasing average intensity (P = 0.01), average probability (P < 0.01), cumulative intensity (P = 0.01), and cumulative probability (P < 0.01) level of organic solvent and with average probability level (P = 0.02) and cumulative intensity level of chlorinated solvent (P = 0.02). Analyses by NHL subtype showed a risk pattern for diffuse large B-cell lymphoma similar to that for overall NHL, with stronger evidence of an association with benzene exposure. Results suggest an increased risk of NHL associated with occupational exposure to organic solvents for women.

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