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J Natl Cancer Inst. 1986 Feb;76(2):229-34.

Soft tissue sarcoma risk in Swedish agricultural and forestry workers.


The risk of soft tissue sarcoma following possible exposure to phenoxy acid herbicides was studied in 354,620 Swedish men, who were employed in agriculture or forestry according to a national census in 1960. This cohort was further divided into six subcohorts, on assumed exposure to phenoxy acid herbicides. The most commonly used phenoxy acid in Sweden was (4-chloro-2-methylphenoxy)acetic acid (CAS: 94-74-6). The reference cohort encompassed 1,725,845 Swedish men employed in other industries. All persons were followed up in the cancer-environment register during the period 1961-79. A total of 331 cases of soft tissue sarcomas was observed in the study cohort and there were 1,508 cases in the reference group [relative risk (RR), 0.9; 95% confidence interval, 0.8-1.0]. No subcohort of agricultural or forestry workers showed any significantly increased RR, nor was there any significant difference in RR between the subcohorts. Despite the greatly increased use of phenoxy acid herbicides from 1947 to 1970, no time-related increase in the RR of soft tissue sarcoma was found in the total cohort or in any of the subcohorts.

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