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Discovering the causes of cancer and the means of prevention

Industrial and Occupational Exposures

Workers often have heavier and more prolonged exposures to hazardous chemicals that also occur in the general environment, but at lower levels. When excess risks are detected from workplace studies, they may provide important leads as to the etiology of cancer in other settings. Occupational studies conducted by OEEB investigators have identified many chemicals that cause cancer in humans, and they have provided direction for initiatives aimed at reducing or eliminating these carcinogens in the workplace and elsewhere. Selected studies include:

  • Diesel Exhaust in Miners Study (DEMS)

    In March 2012, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) completed a retrospective cohort mortality and nested case-control study of 12,315 workers at eight non-metal mining facilities to investigate risk of lung cancer in relation to quantitative measures of historical exposure to diesel exhaust, after taking into account smoking and other lung cancer risk factors

  • DCEG Research on Formaldehyde Exposure

    Studies to investigate occupational formaldehyde exposure and cancer risk, including an industrial cohort study of over 25,000 workers, a case-control study of workers in the funeral industry, and a cross-sectional study to quantify leukemia-specific chromosome changes associated with formaldehyde exposure

  • Benzene-Exposed Workers in China

    A binational, multidisciplinary study of Chinese benzene-exposed workers and unexposed workers from more than 700 factories in 12 cities

  • NCI Acrylonitrile Cohort

    A study of 25,460 workers employed at eight facilities in the U.S. that produce or use acrylonitrile

  • Multi-center Case-Control Study of Lymphoma in Asia (AsiaLymph)

    A multi-center, international case-control study of lymphoma in Eastern Asia studying the occupational, environmental, and genetic contributions to lymphoid neoplasia.

  • Agricultural Health Study (AHS)

    The Agricultural Health Study (AHS) is prospective cohort of commercial pesticide applicators and their spouses in Iowa and North Carolina. AHS is conducted in collaboration among the National Cancer Institute, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. 

  • Shanghai Women's Health Study

    The Shanghai Women's Health Study, a collaborative study by NCI, Vanderbilt University, and the Shanghai Cancer Institute, is a prospective cohort study of approximately 75,000 women, which aims to evaluate the causes of cancer among Chinese women.

  • Case-Control Study of Renal Cell Cancer among Caucasians and African Americans in the United States

    This population-based case-control study is evaluating risk factors for renal cell cancer to examine why rates of this disease are higher among U.S. blacks than whites

  • Case-Control Study of Renal Cell Cancer in Eastern Europe

    A hospital based case-control study evaluating kidney cancer risks in relation to occupational and other environmental and lifestyle exposures in six centers across Eastern Europe