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J Occup Environ Med. 1998 Jan;40(1):55-62.

Hodgkin's disease, pharyngeal cancer, and soft tissue sarcomas in Danish paper mill workers.

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Danish Cancer Society, Copenhagen, Denmark.


Several studies have indicated an increased cancer risk among paper mill workers, based on rather few cancer cases. The authors studied cancer incidence in a large historical cohort of 14,362 Danish paper mill workers, employed at any time between 1943 and 1990, and followed up until December 31, 1993. Men had an increased risk of pharyngeal cancer (15 observed (obs), standardized incidence ratio (SIR) 1.99, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.11-3.29). With two additional cases among women, 11 of 17 cases were located in the tonsils. Men also had an increased risk of Hodgkin's disease (18 obs, SIR 2.01, 95% CI 1.19-3.18). Women had an increased risk of soft tissue sarcomas (nine obs, SIR 2.33, 95% CI 1.06-4.43), with a high risk among female paper sorters (eight obs, SIR 3.98, 95% CI 1.71-7.84). The study thus supports some studies' observations of an increased risk of Hodgkin's disease in paper mill workers. The detailed reporting of cancer cases in paper mill workers have furthermore revealed a risk of pharyngeal cancer together with a risk of soft tissue sarcomas in paper sorters.

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