To evaluate the association between exposure to chlorinated solvents and cancer.
We conducted a case–control study of occupational exposures and cancer in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, including 3730 cancer cases and 533 population controls. Occupational exposures were derived using a combination of subject-reported job history and expert assessment. We examined the associations between two chemical families and six chlorinated solvents with 11 sites of cancer.
The majority of the associations examined were null, although many were based on small numbers. We found two significantly elevated odds ratios (ORs), one between perchloroethylene and prostate cancer (OR = 4.3; 95% CI: 1.4 to 13) and another between trichloroethylene and melanoma (OR = 3.2; 95% CI: 1.0 to 9.9).
There was little evidence of associations between chlorinated solvents and cancer. Limited power precludes strong inferences about absence of risk. We raise hypotheses about two possible associations: perchloroethylene with prostate cancer and trichloroethylene with melanoma.
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From the University of Montreal Hospital Research Center (CRCHUM) (Drs Christensen, Vizcaya, Lavoué, and Siemiatycki), Montreal, Quebec, Canada; Department of Social and Preventive Medicine (Dr Siemiatycki), and Guzzo–Cancer Research Society Chair in Environment and Cancer, School of Public Health (Dr Siemiatycki), Université de Montréal, Montréal, Quebec, Canada; Department of Community Health and Epidemiology (Dr Richardson and Aronson), Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada.
Address correspondence to Jack Siemiatycki, MSc, PhD, Environmental Epidemiology and Population Health Research Group, Research Centre of the University of Montreal Hospital Network (CRCHUM), 3875 rue Saint-Urbain, Montréal, QC H2W 1V1, Canada (email@example.com).
Disclosure: The authors declare no conflicts of interest.
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