Lifetime exposure to rubber dusts, fumes and N-nitrosamines and cancer mortality in a cohort of British rubber workers with 49 years follow-up

Mira Hidajat, Damien Martin McElvenny, Peter Ritchie, Andrew Darnton, William Mueller, Martie van Tongeren, Raymond M. Agius, John W. Cherrie, Frank de Vocht

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Abstract

OBJECTIVES: To quantitatively evaluate exposure-response associations between occupational exposures to rubber dust, fumes and N-nitrosamines and cancer mortality in the UK rubber industry.

METHODS: Competing risk survival analyses were used to examine cancer mortality risk in a cohort of 36 441 males aged 35+ years employed in the British rubber industry in 1967, followed up to 2015 (94% mortality). Exposure measurements are based on a population-specific quantitative job-exposure matrix for rubber dust, rubber fumes and N-nitrosamines from the EU-EXASRUB project.

RESULTS: Exposure (lifetime cumulative (LCE))-response associations were found for N-nitrosomorphiline and all cancers (subdistribution HR (SHR) 1.48, 95% CI 1.39 to 1.57) and cancers of the bladder, stomach, multiple myeloma, oesophagus, prostate and pancreas, as well as for N-nitrosodimethylamine and all cancers (SHR 2.08, 95% CI 1.96 to 2.21) and cancers of the bladder, stomach, leukaemia, multiple myeloma, prostate and liver. LCE to the N-nitrosamines sum were associated with increased risks from all cancers (SHR 1.89, 95% CI 1.78 to 2.01) and cancers of the lung, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and brain. LCE to rubber dust and fumes are associated with increased mortality from all cancers (rubber dust SHR 1.67, 95% CI 1.58 to 1.78; rubber fumes SHR 1.91, 95% CI 1.80 to 2.03) and cancers of the bladder, lung, stomach, leukaemia, multiple myeloma, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, oesophagus, prostate, pancreas and liver.

CONCLUSIONS: Consistent with previous studies, N-nitrosamines exposures are associated with mortality from cancers of the bladder, lung, stomach, leukaemia, multiple myeloma, oesophagus, prostate, pancreas and liver. The long follow-up with nearly complete mortality enabled estimations of lifetime cancer mortality risk from occupational exposures in the rubber industry.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)250-258
Number of pages9
JournalOccupational and Environmental Medicine
Volume76
Issue number4
Early online date16 Feb 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2019

Keywords

  • cancer
  • cohort
  • exposure-response
  • occupational exposures
  • rubber

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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