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Br J Cancer. 2011 May 24;104(11):1797-803. doi: 10.1038/bjc.2011.148. Epub 2011 May 3.

Occupational exposure to dusts and risk of renal cell carcinoma.

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Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, NIH, DHHS, Occupational and Environmental Epidemiology Branch, 6120 Executive Boulevard, EPS 8121, Rockville, MD 20852, USA.



Occupational exposures to dusts have generally been examined in relation to cancers of the respiratory system and have rarely been examined in relation to other cancers, such as renal cell carcinoma (RCC). Although previous epidemiological studies, though few, have shown certain dusts, such as asbestos, to increase renal cancer risk, the potential for other occupational dust exposures to cause kidney damage and/or cancer may exist. We investigated whether asbestos, as well as 20 other occupational dust exposures, were associated with RCC risk in a large European, multi-center, hospital-based renal case-control study.


General occupational histories and job-specific questionnaires were reviewed by occupational hygienists for subject-specific information. Odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs) between RCC risk and exposures were calculated using unconditional logistic regression.


Among participants ever exposed to dusts, significant associations were observed for glass fibres (OR: 2.1; 95% CI: 1.1-3.9), mineral wool fibres (OR: 2.5; 95% CI: 1.2-5.1), and brick dust (OR: 1.5; 95% CI: 1.0-2.4). Significant trends were also observed with exposure duration and cumulative exposure. No association between RCC risk and asbestos exposure was observed.


Results suggest that increased RCC risk may be associated with occupational exposure to specific types of dusts. Additional studies are needed to replicate and extend findings.

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