Brain cancer linked to work lead exposurePublished On: Mon, Aug 28th, 2006 | Health | By BioNews
University of Rochester Medical Center researchers say those routinely exposed to lead on the job are 50 percent more likely to die from brain cancer.
The study was based on information from the U.S. Census Bureau and the National Death Index. The researchers computed the risk estimates for lead exposure and brain cancer from a census sample of 317,968 people who reported their occupations between 1979 and 1981.
Study author Edwin van Wijngaarden says the jobs with the highest probability and intensity of lead exposure were painters and automobile mechanics, but firefighters, engineers, automobile assemblers, truck drivers, plumbers, welders, printers and typesetters are all among those individuals with some likelihood of lead exposure.
Van Wijngaarden applied the matrix to nearly 318,000 people and followed their cancer rates for nine years and found 119 brain-cancer deaths.
The death rate among people with jobs that potentially exposed them to lead was 50 percent higher than unexposed people, according to the study published in the September issue of the International Journal of Cancer.