Occupational exposure to solvents and risk of breast cancer
Background Occupational exposure to some organic solvents may increase risk of breast cancer.
Methods In a population-based case-control study, 1,205 women diagnosed with primary breast cancer between 2009 and 2011 were drawn from the Western Australian Cancer Registry and matched to 1,789 controls from the electoral roll. Exposure to solvents was determined through telephone interviews using OccIDEAS.
Results About a third of women were occupationally exposed to solvents. Age adjusted breast cancer risks were elevated for women who had been exposed to aliphatic solvents odds ratio (OR) 1.21 (95%CI 0.99–1.48) and aromatic solvents OR 1.21 (95%CI 0.97–1.52). For most solvents the ORs were higher for those diagnosed before menopause.
Conclusions This study suggests that there may be an association between occupational exposure to aliphatic and aromatic solvents and the risk of breast cancer at the low levels of exposure experienced by women in this study.