Occupational exposure to arsenic and risk of nonmelanoma skin cancer in a multinational European study

Authors

  • Simona Surdu,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, University at Albany, State University of New York, Rensselaer, NY
    2. Institute for Health and Environment, University at Albany, Rensselaer, NY
    • Department of Environmental Health Sciences, School of Public Health, University at Albany, State University of New York, Rensselaer, NY
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  • Edward F. Fitzgerald,

    1. Department of Environmental Health Sciences, School of Public Health, University at Albany, State University of New York, Rensselaer, NY
    2. Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, University at Albany, State University of New York, Rensselaer, NY
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  • Michael S. Bloom,

    1. Department of Environmental Health Sciences, School of Public Health, University at Albany, State University of New York, Rensselaer, NY
    2. Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, University at Albany, State University of New York, Rensselaer, NY
    3. Institute for Health and Environment, University at Albany, Rensselaer, NY
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  • Francis P. Boscoe,

    1. Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Public Health, University at Albany, State University of New York, Rensselaer, NY
    2. New York State Cancer Registry, New York State Department of Health, Albany, NY
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  • David O. Carpenter,

    1. Department of Environmental Health Sciences, School of Public Health, University at Albany, State University of New York, Rensselaer, NY
    2. Institute for Health and Environment, University at Albany, Rensselaer, NY
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  • Richard F. Haase,

    1. Institute for Health and Environment, University at Albany, Rensselaer, NY
    2. Department of Educational and Counseling Psychology, School of Education, University at Albany, Albany, NY
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  • Eugen Gurzau,

    1. Health Department, Environmental Health Center, Babes Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, Romania
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  • Peter Rudnai,

    1. Department of Environmental Epidemiology, National Institute of Environmental Health, Budapest, Hungary
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  • Kvetoslava Koppova,

    1. Department of Environmental Health, Regional Authority of Public Health, Banska Bystrica, Slovakia
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  • Joëlle Févotte,

    1. UMRESTTE, Department of Epidemiological Research and Survey in Transport, Work and Environment, University of Lyon 1, Lyon, France
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  • Marie Vahter,

    1. Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
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  • Giovanni Leonardi,

    1. Department of Social and Environmental Health Research, Public Health, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, United Kingdom
    2. Centre for Radiation, Chemical and Environmental Hazards, Health Protection Agency, Chilton, United Kingdom
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  • Walter Goessler,

    1. Institut für Chemie-Analytische Chemie, Karl-Franzens-Universität, Graz, Austria
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  • Rajiv Kumar,

    1. Division of Molecular Genetic Epidemiology, German Cancer Research Center, Heidelberg, Germany
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  • Tony Fletcher

    1. Department of Social and Environmental Health Research, Public Health, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, United Kingdom
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Correspondence to: Simona Surdu, Department of Environmental Health Sciences, School of Public Health, University at Albany, State University of New York, One University Place, Rensselaer, NY 12144, USA, Tel.: +1-518-4020372, Fax: +1-518-4020380, E-mail: ssurdu@albany.edu

Abstract

Occupational studies show a high risk of lung cancer related to arsenic exposure by inhalation; however, only a few studies, and with conflicting results, previously examined a potential link between arsenic exposure at work and skin cancer. The aim of this study is to assess airborne arsenic exposures at the workplace and to quantify associations with nonmelanoma skin cancer (NMSC). The study sample consists of 618 incident cases of NMSC and 527 hospital-based controls aged 30–79 years from Hungary, Romania and Slovakia. Exposures were evaluated by local experts using occupational histories. Information on host factors and other exposures was collected and used to adjust the associations of interest using multivariable logistic regression. The lifetime prevalence of exposure to work-related arsenic is 23.9% for cases and 15.5% for controls. No significant association between arsenic exposure in the workplace and NMSC was detected, although an increased adjusted odd ratio was observed for participants with higher cumulative lifetime workplace exposure to arsenic in dust and fumes compared to referents [odds ratios (OR) = 1.94, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.76–4.95]. There is evidence for modification of the workplace arsenic–NMSC association by work-related sunlight exposure in women, with a markedly increased adjusted OR in the presence of workplace sunlight exposure (OR = 10.22, 95% CI = 2.48–42.07). Workplace coexposure to arsenic and sunlight may thus pose an increased risk of NMSC.

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