Organic Chemical Exposure and the Risk of Breast Cancer Among Active Duty Women in the US Army, 1980-1996
ARMY RESEARCH INST OF ENVIRONMENTAL MEDICINE NATICK MA
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Young women whose Army occupations involve use of organic solvents may be at particular risk of developing breast cancer. Our objective is to 1 determine if the observed increase in incidence of breast cancer is associated with occupations with high exposure potential for organic solvents, 2 develop job exposure matrices to quantitatively assess the airborne chemical exposure concentrations and cumulative exposure to these chemicals, and 3 investigate the timing of occupational exposure to organic solvents and occurrence of breast cancer. Using the Total Army Injury and Health Outcomes Database, we conducted a cohort study of enlisted active duty Army women. Women whose jobs at diagnosis had a moderate to high exposure potential had a 48 increased risk of breast cancer 95 CI 1.01-2.07. In a case-control study, parous women who delayed the birth of their first child until after age 25 and had an occupational exposure to formaldehyde had an increased risk OR 3.2, 95 CI 1.5-6.9. Women 35 years and younger with a family history were also at increased risk OR 12.0, 95 CI 4.6-33. The findings support the hypothesis that breast tissue in a proliferative stage may be more susceptible to the effects of occupational exposure to organic solvents.
- Medicine and Medical Research
- Organic Chemistry