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Environ Int. 2011 Feb;37(2):449-53. doi: 10.1016/j.envint.2010.11.009. Epub 2010 Dec 16.

Increased risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma and serum organochlorine concentrations among neighbors of a municipal solid waste incinerator.

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CNRS no 6249 Chrono-Environment, Faculty of Medicine, Besançon, France.


Organochlorine chemicals may contribute to an increased risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) within non-occupationally exposed populations. Among these chemicals, dioxins and furans were mainly released by municipal solid waste incinerators (MSWIs) until a recent past in France, a source of exposure that is of public concern. We investigated organochlorines and the risk of NHL among neighbors of a French MSWI with high levels of dioxin emissions (Besançon, France), using serum concentrations to assess exposure. The study area consisted of three electoral wards, containing or surrounding the MSWI. Pesticides, dioxins, furans, and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were measured in the serum of 34 newly diagnosed NHL cases (2003-2005) and 34 controls. Risks of NHL associated with each lipid-corrected serum concentration were estimated using exact logistic regression. The pesticides β-hexachlorocyclohexane (odds ratio [OR]=1.05, 95% confidence interval [CI]=1.00-1.12, per 10 ng/g lipid) and p,p' dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane (DDT) (OR=1.20, 95% CI=1.01-1.45, per 10 ng/g lipid) were associated with NHL risk. Evidence indicated an increased NHL risk associated with cumulative WHO(1998)-toxic equivalency factor (TEQ) concentrations (dioxins, OR=1.12, 95% CI=1.03-1.26; furans, OR=1.16, 95% CI=1.03-1.35; dioxin-like PCBs, OR=1.04, 95% CI=1.00-1.07; and total TEQ, OR=1.04, 95% CI=1.01-1.05), as well as with non dioxin-like PCBs (OR=1.02, 95% CI=1.01-1.05, per 10 ng/g lipid). Most congener-specific associations were statistically significant. This study provides strong and consistent support for an association between serum cumulative WHO(1998)-TEQ concentrations, at levels experienced by people residing in the vicinity of a polluting MSWI, and risk of NHL.

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