Cancer incidence among workers with blood lead measurements in two countries

30.09.2019

IOM scientists Will Mueller, Peter Ritchie and Prof Damien McElvenny are amongst the co-authors of a paper entitled "Cancer incidence among workers with blood lead measurements in two countries". published in "Occupational and Environmental Medicine"

Objective Study carcinogenicity of inorganic lead, classified as ‘probably carcinogenic’ to humans by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (brain, lung, kidney and stomach).

Methods We conducted internal and external analyses for cancer incidence in two cohorts of 29 874 lead-exposed workers with past blood lead data (Finland, n=20 752, Great Britain=9122), with 6790 incident cancers. Exposure was maximum measured blood lead.

Results The combined cohort had a median maximum blood lead of 29 μg/dL, a mean first blood lead test of 1977, and was 87% male. Significant (p<0.05) positive trends, using the log of maximum blood lead, were found for brain cancer (malignant), Hodgkin’s lymphoma, lung cancer and rectal cancer, while a significant negative trend was found for melanoma. Borderline significant positive trends (0.05≤p≤0.10) were found for oesophageal cancer, meningioma and combined malignant/benign brain cancer. Categorical analyses reflected these trends. Significant interactions by country were found for lung, brain and oesophageal cancer, with Finland showing strong positive trends, and Great Britain showing modest or no trends. Larynx cancer in Finland also showed a positive trend (p=0.05). External analyses for high exposure workers (maximum blood lead >40 μg/dL) showed a significant excess for lung cancer in both countries combined, and significant excesses in Finland for brain and lung cancer. The Great Britain data were limited by small numbers for some cancers, and limited variation in exposure.

Conclusions We found strong positive incidence trends with increasing blood lead level, for several outcomes in internal analysis. Two of these, lung and brain cancer, were sites of a priori interest.

The full text of the paper is available here.

 

  • IOMworld Posted: 22 hours ago
    Want expert advice about how to stay physically and mentally fit whilst working from home? @CIEHF has launched a po… https://t.co/3uxSOxXMoN
  • IOMworld Posted: yesterday
    Sean Semple and IOM's John Cherrie discuss the role occupational hygienists and research has in the fight against C… https://t.co/YaoGfAMohj
  • IOMworld Posted: 4 days ago
    Following our CEO message this week our 'Helping you navigate Coronavirus (COVID-19)' web page is live. You can fin… https://t.co/EC3cGYZ7DV
  • IOMworld Posted: 6 days ago
    RT @IOMworld: Between 28,000 and 36,000 premature deaths in the UK annually are due to exposure to air pollution. Learn more about the stud…
  • IOMworld Posted: 9 days ago
    RT @JohnCherrie: Our research on #respirator effectiveness is very relevant to protection of healthcare workers against #Covid-19. FFP2 /N9…
  • IOMworld Posted: 13 days ago
    RT @IOMworld: Working with the WHO, we helped create a standardised method for the measurement of asbestos fibres in the air. #IOM50 Find…
  • IOMworld Posted: 20 days ago
    RT @IOMworld: British Standards commissioned us to devise a rulebook to ensure workers could safely use nanomaterials to help foster health…
  • IOMworld Posted: 25 days ago
    RT @claire_horwell: The journal article about the #IVHHN epidemiological protocols, to assess health impact in volcanic crises, is now avai…
  • IOMworld Posted: 25 days ago
    RT @SAFENANO_Online: .@IOMworld participated in the @Gov4Nano 3rd Consortium Meeting in Zurich this week, where our work on gathering stak…
  • IOMworld Posted: 27 days ago
    RT @IOMworld: Working with the UK government’s Technology Strategy Board, we helped launche the first centre of excellence for the safety o…
  • Contact Us

If you would like to contact us, please use the attached form and we will get back to you. Alternatively, call or write to us at our Head Office in Edinburgh or one of our regional offices.

Our office hours are: 

Monday to Friday - 8.00am to 5.15pm

Our head office numbers is +44 (0)131 449 8000

Email: info@iom-world.org