Scand J Work Environ Health. 2020 Sep 25:3925. doi: 10.5271/sjweh.3925. Online ahead of print.
Objectives This study aimed to estimate the risk of lymphoma and its major subtypes in relation to occupational exposure to specific organic dusts. Methods We explored the association in 1853 cases and 1997 controls who participated in the EpiLymph case-control study, conducted in six European countries in 1998-2004. Based on expert assessment of lifetime occupational exposures, we calculated the risk of the major lymphoma subtypes associated with exposure to six specific organic dusts, namely,
flour, hardwood, softwood, natural textile, synthetic textile, and leather, and two generic (any types) groups: wood and textile dusts. Risk was predicted with unconditional regression modeling, adjusted by age, gender, study center, and education. Results We observed a 2.1-fold increase in risk of follicular lymphoma associated with ever exposure to leather dust [95% confidence interval (CI) 1.01-4.20]. After excluding subjects who ever worked in a farm or had ever been exposed to solvents, risk of B-cell lymphoma was elevated in relation to ever exposure to leather dust [odd ratio (OR) 2.2, 95% CI 1.00-4.78], but it was not supported by increasing trends with the exposure metrics. Risk of Hodgkin lymphoma was elevated (OR 2.0, 95% CI 0.95-4.30) for exposure to textile dust, with consistent upward trends by cumulative exposure and three independent exposure metrics combined (P=0.023, and P=0.0068, respectively). Conclusions Future, larger studies might provide further insights into the nature of the association we observed between exposure to textile dust and risk of Hodgkin lymphoma.