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Heavy metals, welding fumes, and other occupational exposures, and the risk of kidney cancer: A population-based nested case-control study in three Nordic countries

Michalek, Irmina Maria, Martinsen, Jan Ivar, Weiderpass, Elisabete, Hansen, Johnni, Sparen, Pär, Tryggvadottir, Laufey, Pukkala, Eero
Environmental research 2019 v.173 pp. 117-123
asbestos, case-control studies, censuses, chromium, heavy metals, iron, kidney neoplasms, lead, nickel, occupational exposure, risk, ultraviolet radiation, welding, wood dust, Finland, Iceland, Scandinavia, Sweden
To determine whether occupational exposure to heavy metals (chromium (VI), iron, nickel, lead) and welding fumes is associated with the risk of kidney cancer and to describe whether other occupational exposures included in the Job Exposure Matrix of the Nordic Occupational Cancer (NOCCA) study are associated with the risk.Nested case-control study among individuals registered in population censuses in Finland, Iceland, and Sweden in 1960–1990. A total of 59,778 kidney cancer cases, and 298,890 controls matched on sex, age, and country. Cumulative occupational exposures to metals (chromium (VI), iron, nickel, lead), welding fumes, and 24 other occupational exposure covariates, lagged 0, 10, and 20 years.Overall, there was no or very little association between kidney cancer and exposures studied. The risk was elevated in individuals with high exposure to asbestos (OR 1.19, 95%CI 1.08–1.31). The risk was significantly decreased for individuals characterized with high perceived physical workload (OR 0.86, 95%CI 0.82–0.91), high exposure to ultraviolet radiation (OR 0.85, 95%CI 0.79–0.92), and high exposure to wood dust (OR 0.82, 95%CI 0.71–0.94). The risk of kidney cancer under the age of 59 was elevated in individuals with high exposure to nickel (OR 1.49, 95%CI 1.03–2.17). The risk of kidney cancer in age 59–74 years was elevated for individuals with high exposure to iron (OR 1.41, 95%CI 1.07–1.85), and high exposure to welding fumes (OR 1.43, 95%CI 1.09–1.89).The only markedly elevated risks of kidney cancer were seen for the highest exposures of nickel and iron/welding fumes in specific age strata.