The purpose of this study was to assess whether occupational exposure to hydrocarbons in the oil-refining activity increases the risk of kidney cancer.
This case-referent study was nested within the cohort of employees in the oil refinery industry in Finland in 1967 to 1982 (n = 9454). The final data included 30 cases of kidney cancer and 81 age- and sex-matched referents.
There was a threefold increase in the kidney cancer risk for exposure to hydrocarbons in crude oil (odds ratio, 3.1; confidence interval, 1.1 to 8.9; 11 exposed cases). The risk was associated with the highest cumulative exposure category to hydrocarbons in crude oil.
Occupational exposure in oil refining, particularly to crude oil, may increase kidney cancer risk. The study assessed historical exposures; further information needs to be collected for evaluating current exposures.
From the Finnish Cancer Registry (Drs Anttila, Pokhrel, and Pukkala), Institute for Statistical and Epidemiological Cancer Research, Unioninkatu 22; Finnish Institute of Occupational Health (Dr Heikkilä), Topeliuksenkatu 41aA, Helsinki; RV Chem Oy (Mr Viinanen), Ruoriniemenkatu 12, Lahti; and School of Health Sciences (Dr Pukkala), University of Tampere, Finland.
Address correspondence to: Ahti Anttila, PhD, Finnish Cancer Registry, Unioninkatu 22, FI-00130 Helsinki, Finland (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The study has been funded by the Finnish Cancer Registry.
Riitta Viinanen has formerly worked as a lead occupational hygienist in the Neste Oil company.
The authors declare no conflicts of interest.