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Title: Occupational Exposure to Benzene and Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma in a Population-Based Cohort: The Shanghai Women's Health Study.
Authors: Bassig BA,  Friesen MC,  Vermeulen R,  Shu XO,  Purdue MP,  Stewart PA,  Xiang YB,  Chow WH,  Zheng T,  Ji BT,  Yang G,  Linet MS,  Hu W,  Zhang H,  Zheng W,  Gao YT,  Rothman N,  Lan Q
Journal: Environ Health Perspect
Date: 2015 Oct
Branches: OEEB, REB
PubMed ID: 25748391
PMC ID: PMC4590744
Abstract: BACKGROUND: The association between benzene exposure and non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) has been the subject of debate as a result of inconsistent epidemiologic evidence. An International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) working group evaluated benzene in 2009 and noted evidence for a positive association between benzene exposure and NHL risk. OBJECTIVE: We evaluated the association between occupational benzene exposure and NHL among 73,087 women enrolled in the prospective population-based Shanghai Women's Health Study. METHODS: Benzene exposure estimates were derived using a previously developed exposure assessment framework that combined ordinal job-exposure matrix intensity ratings with quantitative benzene exposure measurements from an inspection database of Shanghai factories collected between 1954 and 2000. Associations between benzene exposure metrics and NHL (n = 102 cases) were assessed using Cox proportional hazard models, with study follow-up occurring from December 1996 through December 2009. RESULTS: Women ever exposed to benzene had a significantly higher risk of NHL [hazard ratio (HR) = 1.87, 95% CI: 1.19, 2.96]. Compared with unexposed women, significant trends in NHL risk were observed for increasing years of benzene exposure (p(trend) = 0.006) and increasing cumulative exposure levels (p(trend) = 0.005), with the highest duration and cumulative exposure tertiles having a significantly higher association with NHL (HR = 2.07, 95% CI: 1.07, 4.01 and HR = 2.16, 95% CI: 1.17, 3.98, respectively). CONCLUSIONS: Our findings, using a population-based prospective cohort of women with diverse occupational histories, provide additional evidence that occupational exposure to benzene is associated with NHL risk.