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Testicular cancer, dimethylformamide, and leather tanneries.
Calvert-GM; Fajen-JM; Hills-BW; Halperin-WE
Lancet 1990 Nov; 336(8725):1253-1254
A testicular cancer screening program was offered to all known former and current male finishing department workers employed at a tannery from 1975 to 1989, to investigate a report of a cluster of three men with testicular cancer who worked in the finishing department of the tannery. Testicular cancer was not found in any of the 51 workers screened. An industrial hygiene evaluation of the finishing department was done in April, 1989. The results of air samples indicated that there were no detectable levels of dimethylformamide (68122) (DMF), trace metals, nitrosamines, benzidine (92875), or aldehydes. Personal air samples had a mean concentration of 0.65mg/m3 for 2-ethoxyethanol (110805), 0.23 mg/m3 for 2-ethoxyethylacetate (111159), 4.2mg/m3 for 2-butoxyethanol (111762), and 4.0mg/m3 for diisobutyl-ketone (108838). One participant reported a history of alcohol intolerance. This worker frequently had to reach into drums of DMF containing dyes and denied ever using personal protective equipment such as gloves or a respirator. Two individuals had liver injury and both men had conditions apart from DMF exposure that could have been responsible for this problem. According to the authors, results confirm the excess of testicular cancer at the tannery.
NIOSH-Author; Tanning-industry; Liver-damage; Reproductive-system-disorders; Reproductive-hazards; Amides; Leather-industry; Leather-workers; Occupational-exposure
68-12-2; 92-87-5; 110-80-5; 111-15-9; 111-76-2; 108-83-8
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Page last reviewed: May 5, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division