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Ann N Y Acad Sci. 1997 Dec 26;837:157-69.

Lymphohematopoietic cancers and butadiene and styrene exposure in synthetic rubber manufacture.

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Department of Epidemiology, Johns Hopkins University, School of Hygiene and Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland 21205, USA.


The described nested case-control study of lymphohematopoietic cancers occurring in a cohort of synthetic rubber production workers was conducted to determine the associations of these cancers with exposure to butadiene and styrene. Cases have been confirmed through hospital record review of 95 percent of the cancers. Exposures are based on measured values of the two chemicals from personal monitoring data in seven of the eight plants under study. The results indicate that the risk of leukemia increases with exposure to a time-weighted average butadiene measure. The odds ratio at only 1 ppm average butadiene exposure is 1.50 (95% CI 1.07, 2.10). Work in specific areas also contributes to the risk, possibly because these areas have not been completely characterized for differences in butadiene exposure. Hodgkins disease is also associated with butadiene exposure. Multiple myeloma, lymphosarcoma, and all lymphomas are associated with exposure to styrene. Since workers in this industry are apparently exposed to two carcinogenic agents, further effort must be made to distinguish the exposures to each chemical over time and to characterize their interrelationship with the risk of cancers of the lymphohematopoietic system.

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