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Am J Ind Med. 2005 Oct;48(4):249-58.

Estimated effects of solvents and mineral oils on cancer incidence and mortality in a cohort of aerospace workers.

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Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, UCLA, Los Angeles, California, USA.



A retrospective cohort study of workers employed at a California aerospace company between 1950 and 1993 was conducted; it examined cancer mortality from exposures to the rocket fuel hydrazine.


In this study, we employed a job exposure matrix (JEM) to assess exposures to other known or suspected carcinogens-including trichloroethylene (TCE), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), mineral oils, and benzene-on cancer mortality (1960-2001) and incidence (1988-2000) in 6,107 male workers. We derived rate- (hazard-) ratios estimates from Cox proportional hazard models with time-dependent exposures.


High levels of TCE exposure were positively associated with cancer incidence of the bladder (rate ratio (RR): 1.98, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.93-4.22) and kidney (4.90; 1.23-19.6). High levels of exposure to mineral oils increased mortality and incidence of lung cancer (1.56; 1.02-2.39 and 1.99; 1.03-3.85), and incidence of melanoma (3.32; 1.20-9.24). Mineral oil exposures also contributed to incidence and mortality of esophageal and stomach cancers and of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and leukemia when adjusting for other chemical exposures. Lagging exposure measures by 20 years changed effect estimates only minimally. No associations were observed for benzene or PAH exposures in this cohort.


Our findings suggest that these aerospace workers who were highly exposed to mineral oils experienced an increased risk of developing and/or dying from cancers of the lung, melanoma, and possibly from cancers of the esophagus and stomach and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and leukemia. These results and the increases we observed for TCE and kidney cancers are consistent with findings of previous studies.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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