Table 2.8Case–control studies of cancer of the brain and exposure to tetrachloroethylene

Reference, study location and periodTotal cases
Total controls
Control source (Hospital, Population)Exposure assessmentOrgan site (ICD code)Exposure categoriesExposed casesRelative risk (95% CI)Covariates
Heineman et al. (1994), Lousiana (USA) 1978–80 and New Jersey and Philadelphia (USA) 1979–81654 (from death certificates)
Death certificatesNext-of-kin personal interviewBrain or other central nervous system tumour (ICD-9 191, 192, 225, 239.7)Occupational tetrachloroethylene exposureAge and study area
Response rates: 88% (cases), 83% (controls)
Any1111.2 (0.8–1.6)
Low probability, ever721.3 (0.8–1.9)
Medium probability, ever300.9 (0.5–1.6)
High probability, ever91.2 (0.4–3.5)
Exposed 2–20 years
Any711.1 (0.7–1.6)
Low probability501.1 (0.7–1.8)
Medium probability150.9 (0.4–1.9)
High probability61.0 (0.3–3.7)
Low-medium average intensity641.0 (0.7–1.6)
High intensity71.2 (0.4–4.4)
Exposed ≥21 years
Any281.4 (0.7–2.7)
Low probability141.6 (0.6–4.0)
Medium probability111.0 (0.4–2.6)
High probability3
Low-medium average intensity251.3 (0.7–2.4)
High intensity3
Low cumulative exposure
Any330.8 (0.5–1.4)
Low probability250.8 (0.4–1.5)
Medium probability71.0 (0.3–3.1)
High probability10.5 (0.0–7.4)
Medium cumulative exposure
Any451.3 (0.8–2.2)
Low probability271.6 (0.8–3.1)
Medium probability131.0 (0.4–2.4)
High probability51.2 (0.3–5.4)
High cumulative exposure
Any211.5 (0.7–3.2)
Low probability121.8 (0.7–5.1)
Medium probability60.8 (0.2–2.6)
High probability3
Summary measures
Low-medium average intensity, total891.1 (0.8–1.6)
High intensity, total101.8 (0.6–5.9)
Low probabilityNot reported1.0 (0.5–1.8)Age, study area employment in electronics occupations/industries and exposure to other chlorinated aliphatic hydrocarbons
Medium probabilityNot reported0.5 (0.2–1.3)
High probabilityNot reported1.2 (0.4–3.9)
Paulu et al. (1999), 5 upper Cape towns (USA) 1983–8637
PopulationPersonal interviewNot specifiedDrinking-water exposureCrude
Response rates: 86% (cases), 74% (random-digit-dial controls), 76% (Health Care Financing Administration controls), 79% (next-of-kin for deceased controls)
0 yrs latent period30.6 (0.1–1.7)
5 yrs latent period31.0 (0.2–2.9)
7 yrs latent period20.9 (0.1–3.0)
9 yrs latent period10.7 (0.0–3.4)
Neta et al. (2012), Arizona, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania (USA), 1994–98489 glioma, 197 meningioma
HospitalPersonal interviewsGlioma or other neuroepitheliomatous neoplasm (ICD-O-2 9380–9473 and 9490–9506), meningioma (ICD-O-2 9530–9538) or acoustic neuroma (ICD-O-2 9560)Occupational tetrachloroethylene exposureAge group, race, sex, hospital site and proximity of residence to hospital
Response rates: 92% (glioma cases), 94% (meningioma cases), 86% (controls)
Possible, men1020.7 (0.5–1.0)
Probable, men61.2 (0.4–3.8)
Possible, women340.7 (0.5–1.1)
Probable, women30.5 (0.1–1.7)
Possible, all1360.7 (0.5–0.9)
Probable, all90.7 (0.3–1.6)
Ruder et al. (2013) Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin (USA) 1995–97798
PopulationPersonal interviews plus industrial hygienist evaluationGlioma ICD-O-9380–948Any tetrachloroethylene2990.75 (0.62–0.91)Age, education, sex
Men2160.81 (0.64–1.04)
Women830.66 (0.48–0.91)


Cover of Trichloroethylene, Tetrachloroethylene, and Some Other Chlorinated Agents
Trichloroethylene, Tetrachloroethylene, and Some Other Chlorinated Agents.
IARC Monographs on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans, No. 106.
IARC Working Group on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risk to Humans.
©International Agency for Research on Cancer, 2014. For more information contact

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