Occupational Exposure to Trichloroethylene and Non-hodgkin Lymphoma Risk

직업적 트리클로로에틸렌 노출과 비호지킨림프종의 연관성

  • Received : 2011.08.16
  • Accepted : 2011.10.19
  • Published : 2011.10.31


Objectives: In order to evaluate the association between occupational exposure to chloroethylene (TCE) and risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), we conducted a meta-analysis of retrospective cohort studies and casecontrol studies and attempted to summarize the evidence of the association from molecular-epidemiological studies and experiments with human cells. Methods: In the meta-analysis, we restricted the analysis to those studies with data for chlorinated solvents, degreasers, or TCE. Studies involving dry cleaners or launderers were excluded from the analysis because use of TCE as a dry cleaning fluid has been rare since the 1960s. The data were combined using a random-effects model to estimate the summary risks (OR and RR) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs). Molecular evidence of the effect of TCE on human immune system were also reviewed and summarized. Results: Occupational exposure to TCE was strongly associated with NHL among cohort studies (number of studies=13, summary RR=1.33, 95% CI=1.04-1.70) whereas the association was not statistically significant among case-control studies (number of studies=15, summary OR=1.10, 0.98-1.23). When exposure level was considered, it became statistically significant for the highest exposure level (number of studies=5, summary OR=1.70, 1.25-2.32). Molecular evidences showed that TCE exposure in human or cultured human cells may cause a significant decrease immune cell subsets and changes in hormone levels related to immune response. Conclusions: Our results from meta-analysis and additional molecular evidence suggest that occupational exposure to TCE may cause NHL. However, unmeasured potential confounding and unclear dose-response relationships warrant further study on the role of TCE exposure in NHL carcinogenesis.


Trichloroethylene;Non-hodgkin lymphoma;Occupational exposure;Cohort study;Case-control study;Immune response;Biomarker


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