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Occupational Exposure to Chlorinated and Petroleum Solvents and Mycosis Fungoides

Morales-Suárez-Varela, Maria M. MD, PhD; Olsen, Jorn MD, PhD; Villeneuve, Sara; Johansen, Preben MD, PhD; Kaerlev, Linda MD, PhD; Llopis-González, Agustin MD, PhD; Wingren, Gun MD, PhD; Hardell, Lennart MD, PhD; Ahrens, Wolfgang MD, PhD; Stang, Andreas MD, PhD; Merletti, Franco MD, PhD; Gorini, Giuseppe MD, PhD; Aurrekoetxea, Juan José MD, PhD; Févotte, Joëlle MD, PhD; Cyr, Diane MD, PhD; Guénel, Pascal MD, PhD

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: August 2013 - Volume 55 - Issue 8 - p 924–931
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e3182941a1c
Original Articles

Objective: To evaluate the potential association between occupational exposure to chlorinated and petroleum solvents and mycosis fungoides (MF).

Methods: A questionnaire on lifetime job history was administered to 100 patients diagnosed with MF and 2846 controls. Odds ratios (ORs) were calculated as the measure of the association between exposure to each specific solvent and MF.

Results: In the total sample and in men, cases and controls did not differ in relation to exposure to any of the solvents studied. In women, an association with MF was seen for the highest level of estimated exposure to perchloroethylene (OR = 11.38; 95% confidence interval: 1.04 to 124.85) and for exposure less than the median to kerosene/fuel/gasoil (OR = 8.53; 95% confidence interval: 1.11 to 65.62).

Conclusions: These results do not provide conclusive evidence that exposure to solvents may increase risk of MF because they were not found in men.

From the Unit of Public Health and Environmental Care (Drs Morales-Suárez-Varela and Llopis-González), Department of Preventive Medicine, University of Valencia, Spain; CIBER Epidemiology and Public Health (CIBERESP) (Drs Morales-Suárez-Varela and Llopis-González), Spain; Center for Public Health Research (CSISP) (Drs Morales-Suárez-Varela and Llopis-González), Valencia, Spain; Research Unit of Clinical Epidemiology (Drs Olsen and Kaerlev), Institute of Clinical Research, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark; Inserm, CESP Center for research in Epidemiology and Population Health (Drs Villenueve, Cyr, and Guénel), U1018, Villejuif, France; University Paris-Sud (Drs Villenueve and Guénel), UMRS 1018, Villejuif, France; Institute of Pathology (Dr Johansen), Aalborg Hospital, Reberbansgade, Aalborg, Denmark; Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (Dr Wingren), Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, Linköping University, Sweden; Department of Oncology (Dr Hardell), University Hospital, Örebro, Sweden; Bremen Institute for Prevention Research and Social Medicine (Dr Ahrens), Division of Biometry and Data Processing, Bremen, Germany; Institute for Medical Informatics (Drs Ahrens and Stang), Biometry and Epidemiology, University Clinic Essen, Germany; Department of Medical Sciences (Dr Merletti), University of Turin, Italy; Cancer Prevention & Research Institute (Dr Gorini), Florence, Italy; Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health (Dr José Aurrekoetxea), University of the Basque Country, Spain; UMRESTTE (Unité Mixte de Recherche Epidémiologique et de Surveillance en Transport, Travail et Environnement) (Dr Févotte), University Claude Bernard Lyon 1, Lyon, France; and University Versailles–Saint-Quentin en Yvelines, France (Dr Cyr).

Address correspondence to: María M. Morales-Suárez-Varela, MD, PhD, Unit of Public Health and Environmental Care, Department of Preventive Medicine, University of Valencia, Avda. Vicente Andrés Estellés s/n, 46100 Burjasot, Valencia, Spain (

The European Union (Biomed Programme) supported the project relating to occupational risk factors for rare cancers of unknown causes. Support was also provided by the F.I.S.S. between 1996 and 1998 (Spain), 96/0043-01, and GV99-2-1-12 (Valencian Community, Spain), INSERM, from Örebro County Council Research Committee, from the Federal Ministry for Education, Science, Research and Technology of Germany (BMBF, 01-HP-684/8), and from AIRC, Italy.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Copyright © 2013 by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine