The relation of lymphohematopoietic cancers with exposure to 1,3- butadiene (106990) and styrene (100425) was examined in a population of synthetic rubber workers. The case/control study was conducted within a cohort of male workers employed between 1943 and 1982 in eight styrene/butadiene rubber polymer producing facilities in North America. Jobs were assigned estimated exposure ranks for calculation of each worker's cumulated rank score based on time spent in each job. Matched pair analyses on the total study population of 59 cases and 193 referents revealed a strong association between leukemia and butadiene exposure (odds ratio 9.36), as well as an association between leukemia and styrene exposure (odds ratio 3.13) that did not achieve statistical significance. The odds ratio for butadiene remained high when exposure to both styrene and butadiene was included in a conditional logistic regression model. The 59 cancers included six lymphosarcomas, eight Hodgkin's disease, 26 leukemias, one myelofibrosis, and 18 other lymphatic neoplasms. The authors conclude that butadiene exposure appears to be associated with an elevated risk of leukemia; additional risk may arise from work in specific subdivisions of the industry.
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