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Australië: mesothelioom bij medewerkers olie-raffinaderij

12-07-2006 00:00

Australische onderzoekers constateerden dat mesothelioom bij medewerkers van een olie-raffinaderij meer dan gemiddeld voorkomt. Waarschijnlijk komt dit door blootstelling aan asbest, hoewel bij de betreffende groep geen verhoogde incidentie van longkanker gevonden werd, een vorm van kanker die ook een relatie heeft met asbestblootstelling. De onderzoekers concluderen daarom dat raffinaderijpersoneel dat met asbest heeft gewerkt geen verhoogd risico op longkanker heeft.

Bron: Gun RT et al., (2006). Update of mortality and cancer incidence in the Australian petroleum industry cohort. Occupational Environmental Medicine, 63(7):476-81.

Gun RT, Pratt N, Ryan P, Roder D. (2006). Update of mortality and cancer incidence in the Australian petroleum industry cohort. Occupational Environmental Medicine, 63(7):476-81.


To update the analysis of the cohort mortality and cancer incidence study of employees in the Australian petroleum industry. METHODS: Employees of Australian Institute of Petroleum member companies were enrolled in the cohort in four industry-wide surveys between 1981 and 1999. Mortality of 16,547 males and 1356 females was determined up to 31 December 2001 and cancer incidence to 31 December 2000. Cause specific mortality and cancer incidence were compared with those of the Australian population by means of standardised mortality ratios (SMRs) and standardised incidence ratios (SIRs). Associations between increased incidence of specific cancers and employment in the petroleum industry were tested by trends according to period of first employment, duration of employment, latency, and hydrocarbon exposure, adjusting for personal smoking history where appropriate. RESULTS: There was a significant elevation of the incidence of mesothelioma (SIR 1.77, 95% CI 1.05 to 2.79), melanoma (SIR 1.37, 95% CI 1.19 to 1.58), and prostate cancer (SIR 1.18, 95% CI 1.04 to 1.34). The SIRs of all leukaemias and of acute non-lymphocytic leukaemia (ANLL) were not significantly different from unity, but all 11 ANLL cases were clustered in the middle to high hydrocarbon exposure categories. Tanker drivers had a significantly elevated incidence of kidney cancer (12 cases v 5.84 expected, SIR 2.05, 95% CI 1.06 to 3.59). Lung cancer incidence was significantly reduced (SIR 0.69, 95% CI 0.57 to 0.83) CONCLUSIONS: Most cases of mesothelioma are probably related to past exposure to asbestos in refineries. No occupational cause has been identified for the excess of melanoma, or prostatic or bladder cancer. The possibility of a causal relationship between cancer of the kidney and hydrocarbon exposure warrants further study. It is uncertain whether benzene exposures, particularly past levels of exposure, have been high enough to cause ANLL.