Malignant melanoma affecting the skin among municipal police officers--a preliminary inquiry.
Kennedy J; Decoufle P; Moore RM Jr.
NIOSH :6 pages
An investigation was made to determine whether police officers in large US cities experienced an increased risk of malignant melanoma of the skin (MMS), independent of tear gas usage. The study was prompted by a report that 12 white male District of Columbia police officers, aged 25 to 40, had developed MMS during the period 1970 to 1975. This incidence rate was much greater than the 1.4 cases expected based on data for the general population of the United States and may have been linked to tear gas exposure. Letters of inquiry for estimates of MMS incidence among police officers for 1970 to 1975 were sent to likely sources of such information in 23 major US cities. Responses were obtained from 17 of the 23 cities through letter replies and telephone conversations. Nine cities were unable to identify any MMS cases. Four cities each reported a single case of skin malignancy among police officers, two cases of MMS, one basal cell carcinoma, and one epidermoid carcinoma of the lower lip. Three cities reported no central source of information from which to gather the information. One city, Dallas, Texas, reported 11 cases of MMS in white male police officers. The age adjusted incidence rate of MMS was estimated to be 62.1 per 100000 white male police officers compared to 8.2 per 100000 for the white male general population of the Dallas/Fort Worth Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area. Los Angeles and Dallas were the only cities in southern latitudes (less than 35 degrees) that reported cases of MMS. The case in Los Angeles was attributed to sunlight exposure. No associations were suggested for the other cities reporting.
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