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Lymphatic and Hematopoietic Cancers Among Benzene-Exposed Workers

Collins, James J. PhD; Anteau, Steven E. BS; Swaen, Gerard M. H. PhD; Bodner, Kenneth M. MS; Bodnar, Catherine M. MD

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: February 2015 - Volume 57 - Issue 2 - p 159–163
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000000324
Original Articles
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Objective: High benzene exposure is related to acute nonlymphocytic leukemia. Recently, myelodysplastic syndrome has been observed at low benzene exposure levels.

Methods: We updated a mortality study of workers with benzene exposure examining acute nonlymphocytic leukemia and myelodysplastic syndrome. We calculated standardized mortality ratios with 95% confidence intervals and examined latency and trends for cumulative exposure levels.

Results: All leukemias (standardized mortality ratio = 1.21; 95% confidence interval = 0.74 to 1.97) and acute non-lymphocytic leukemia (standardized mortality ratio = 1.04; 95% confidence interval = 0.34 to 2.44) were at expected levels. We observed one death from myelodysplastic syndrome (standardized mortality ratio = 6.48; 95% confidence interval = 0.17 to 38.15). We observed no trend for cumulative exposure levels.

Conclusions: Our results for all leukemias are consistent with a small increase in risk observed in the lower-exposed subgroups of the Pliofilm study; however, our results are also consistent with no increased risk especially for acute nonlymphocytic leukemia.

From the Saginaw Valley State University (Dr Collins), University Center; The Dow Chemical Company (Mr Anteau, Mr Bodner, and Dr Bodnar), Midland, Mich; and Maastricht University (Dr Swaen), the Netherlands.

Address correspondence to: James J. Collins, PhD, Saginaw Valley State University, 7400 Bay Rd, University Center, MI 48710 (jjcollin@svsu.edu).

Work was performed when Dr Collins was at The Dow Chemical Company.

Supported by The Dow Chemical Company.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Copyright © 2015 by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine