Journal of Cancer Research and Clinical Oncology

, Volume 105, Issue 2, pp 173–182

The consequences of chronic arsenic poisoning among moselle wine growers

Pathoanatomical investigations of post-mortem examinations performed between 1960 and 1977
  • H. Lüchtrath
Original Papers Clinical Oncology or Epidemiology

DOI: 10.1007/BF00406929

Cite this article as:
Lüchtrath, H. J Cancer Res Clin Oncol (1983) 105: 173. doi:10.1007/BF00406929


From post-mortem examinations performed at the Pathology Institute at Koblenz, 163 cases of wine growers affected by chronic arsenic poisoning were analyzed. While a reduction could be seen in the number of cases of liver cirrhosis, the carcinoma rate was still high and even increased when compared to earlier reports. Lung cancers were identified in 66% of all wine growers affected and are thus the leading form of the skin were observed. A particular characteristic of amount of carcinomas or precarcinogenic alterations of arsenie carcinoma. However, nearly the same amount of carcinomas or precarcinogenic alterations of the skin were observed. A particular characteristic of cases. Among the multiple tumors, up to six different carcinomas were found. As arsenic is no longer detectable by toxicologic-chemical means the deposits of arsenic have been depleted and excreted long ago and so the diagnosis of chronic poisoning today depends on morphological changes of the skin (arsenic hyperkeratosis, melanosis and M. Bowen) which have been shown to be reliable. A comparison of our analysis with much more extensive material collected by the trade association supports our experience and the determined case rates. Furthermore modern theories on the carcinogenic action of arsenic, the question of the tumor latency and the relation of specific cancers to the poison are presented. In addition medical opinions on chronic arsenic poisoning are discussed.

Key words

Chronic arsenic poisoning Moselle wine growers Lung cancer Skin cancer 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. Lüchtrath
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of PathologyKoblenzGermany

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