Exposure to chlorinated solvents and lung cancer: results of the ICARE study
Objective To investigate the role of occupational exposure to chlorinated solvents in lung cancer aetiology.
Methods ICARE (Investigation of occupational and environmental CAuses of REspiratory cancers) is a French, multicentre, population-based, case–control study. Information on the lifelong work history of 2926 cases and 3555 controls was collected using standardised questionnaires. Occupational exposures were assessed using job-exposure matrices for five chlorinated solvents. Solvents were studied separately and in combinations. ORs were computed using unconditional logistic regression models adjusted for classic risk factors, including a history of cigarette smoking and exposure to asbestos. Adjustment for socioeconomic status (SES) was also made.
Results After adjustment for exposure to asbestos, we observed a positive, statistically significant association with lung cancer for men and women exposed to a combination of perchloroethylene (PCE), trichloroethylene and dichloromethane (DCM). Further adjustment for SES slightly decreased this association. In contrast, no statistically significant associations were found for other solvent combinations.
Conclusions These results suggest that exposure to PCE may constitute a risk factor for lung cancer, especially among women, who seem to have a higher prevalence of exposure than men.