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Lung Cancer Mortality and Carbon Black Exposure: A Nested Case–Control Study at a German Carbon Black Production Plant

Büchte, Sebastian F. Dipl-Ing; Morfeld, Peter PD Dr; Wellmann, Jürgen Dr; Bolm-Audorff, Ulrich Prof Dr; McCunney, Robert J. MD; Piekarski, Claus Prof Dr

Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine: December 2006 - Volume 48 - Issue 12 - pp 1242-1252
doi: 10.1097/01.jom.0000215710.17519.cd
Original Articles

Objective: The objective of this study was to conduct a case–control study of lung cancer nested within a cohort of 1528 German carbon black workers, 1976–1998.

Methods: The authors conducted risk-set sampling of two controls matched on year of birth and conditional logistic regression modeling of cumulative carbon black exposure, duration of work in different departments, feedstock contact, asbestos exposure, smoking, age at hire, exposures before the carbon black job, and serving as a soldier in World War II or being a prisoner of war. Analyses were performed with both the full cohort and members of an inception cohort subset. Exposures were lagged by 10 years.

Results: Analysis of 50 lung cancer deaths showed no association to carbon black exposure.

Conclusions: Carbon black exposure was not linked to lung cancer risk. Suggestions of positive associations with asbestos exposure, feedstock contact, and work in specific departments are inconclusive due to small numbers.

From the Institut und Poliklinik für Arbeitsmedizin (Dr Büchte, Dr Morfeld, Dr Piekarski), Sozialmedizin und Sozialhygiene der Universität zu Köln, Cologne, Germany; the Institut für Arbeitswissenschaften der RAG Aktiengesellschaft (Dr Büchte, Dr Morfeld, Dr Piekarski), Dortmund, Germany; the Institute of Epidemiology and Social Medicine (Dr Wellmann), University of Münster, Münster, Germany; Staatlicher Gewerbearzt (Dr Bolm-Audorff), Regierungspräsidium Darmstadt, Darmstadt, Germany; and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Dr McCunney), Boston, Massachusetts.

Address correspondence to: Sebastian F. Büchte, Dipl-Ing, Institut für Arbeitswissenschaften der RAG Aktiengesellschaft, Hülshof 28, 44369 Dortmund, Germany; E-mail: Sebastian.Buechte@RAG.DE.

©2006The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine