, Volume 24, Issue 12, pp 2037-2049
Date: 12 Sep 2013

Occupational exposure to methylene chloride and risk of cancer: a meta-analysis

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Abstract

Methods

We searched MEDLINE and EMBASE for epidemiologic studies on occupational exposure to methylene chloride and risk of cancer. Estimates of study-specific odds ratios (ORs) were calculated using inverse-variance-weighted fixed-effects models and random-effects models. Statistical tests for heterogeneity were applied.

Results

We summarized data from five cohort studies and 13 case–control studies. The pooled OR for multiple myeloma was (OR 2.04; 95 % CI 1.31–3.17) in relation to occupational exposure to methylene chloride but not for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, leukemia, breast, bronchus, trachea and lung, brain and other CNS, biliary passages and liver, prostate, pancreas, and rectum. Furthermore, we focused on specific outcomes for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and multiple myeloma because of exposure misclassification. The pooling OR for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and multiple myeloma was 1.42 (95 % CI 1.10–1.83) with moderate degree of heterogeneity among the studies (I 2  = 26.9 %, p = 0.205).

Conclusions

We found an excess risk of multiple myeloma. The non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and leukemia that have shown weak effects should be investigated further.