Occupational and environmental medicine 2018 03 14() pii 10.1136/oemed-2017-104974
Sinonasal adenocarcinoma is a rare disease expected to have rare causes and potential for strong risk factors as reflected by the strong association with occupational wood dust exposure. High level styrene exposure is a rare and suspected carcinogen, and this study examines the exposure-response relation between occupational styrene exposure, sinonasal adenocarcinoma and other subtypes.
We followed 73 092 styrene-exposed workers from 1968 to 2011 and identified sinonasal cancers in the Danish Cancer Registry. We modelled cumulative styrene exposure and estimated incidence rates and age, sex and wood-industry adjusted ORs.
During 1 585 772 person-years, we observed nine cases of adenocarcinoma, corresponding to a fivefold non-significantly increased OR for estimates of high versus low cumulative styrene exposure (OR 5.11, 95% CI 0.58 to 45.12). The increased risk was confined to exposure received during the recent 15 years. The other histological subtypes showed no increased risk.
This study suggests increased risk of sinonasal adenocarcinoma following styrene exposure. The observations are, however, few, confounding from wood dust exposure cannot be ruled out, and additional studies are needed before firm conclusions can be drawn.