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Cancer incidence among CCA exposed workers in the wood preserving industry
1995 - IRG/WP 95-50040-09
CCA wood preservatives - Copper, hexavalent, Chromium and tri-or pentavalent, Arsenic - has been used in the Nordic countries since mid 1930. Trivalent arsenic and hexavalent chromium compounds are toxic and cancerogenic while pentavalent arsenate and trivalent chromium are less hazardous. In impregnation, the compounds of CCA are fixed in the wood as insoluble trivalent chromium and copper pentavalent arsenate. The aim of this study was to investigate the cancer risks among exposed workers in Sweden and Norway. The observation periods were 1958-89 and 1954-92 respectively. In all, the cancer experience of more than 1000 men were followed. The observed numbers of cancer cases within each calendar year and five year age group were compared to the corresponding numbers expected from the national cancer rates, yielding a standardized incidence ratio (SIR). The analyses are not yet completed but so far 78 cancer cases were observed as to 100,3 expected (SIR = 0,78). Nor were the risks increased in sites most likely to be effected by the exposure, i.e. the skin and the lungs (SIR's = 0,95 and 0,33 respectively). An extended follow-up is necessary to permit firm conclusions. However, the findings do not indicate a substantial cancer risk with exposure to CCA preservatives.
C-G Ohlson, A Andersen, F G Evans, S Karlehagen, K Nilsson