Dinitrotoluene exposure in the copper mining industry and renal cancer: a case-cohort study
Objectives To evaluate the association between dinitrotoluene (DNT) exposure and renal cancer in a case-cohort study.
Methods This case-cohort study was conducted among men born between 1920 and 1974 (n=16 441) who were gainfully employed between 1953 and 1990 in one of two copper mines in Mansfeld, Saxony-Anhalt, former German Democratic Republic, and followed up till 31 December 2006. The study included 109 cases with renal cancer identified by record linkage with the Common Cancer Registry of the New Federal States of Germany (GKR) or by a network of pathology institutes. A comparison subcohort of 999 cohort members was selected at random from the total cohort. Duration and intensity of inhalation and dermal exposure to DNT were assessed on the basis of a job exposure matrix. A time-dependent Cox proportional hazards model modified for case-cohort design was used to assess the relationship between cumulative inhalation and dermal DNT exposure and renal cancer.
Results Elevated risks were found for medium (HR=2.73; 95% CI 1.00 to 7.42) and high (HR=1.81; 95% CI 0.75 to 4.33) dermal exposure to DNT. Relative risks for medium inhalation exposure to DNT were not increased (HR=0.93; 95% CI 0.48 to 1.79) while relative risks for high inhalation exposure to DNT were elevated to 1.36 (95% CI 0.84 to 2.21). We found a statistically significant HR of 2.12 (95% CI 1.03 to 4.37) for combined medium or high inhalation and medium or high dermal exposure to DNT.
Conclusions According to our case-cohort study, dermal and inhalation exposure to DNT is associated with increased renal cancer risk.