A Nested Case-Control Study of Lung Cancer and Diesel Exhaust Among Non-Metal Miners
Diesel exhaust has been classified as a probable carcinogen by the International Agency for
Research on Cancer and as a potential carcinogen by the National Institute for Occupational
Safety and Health (NIOSH). The carcinogenicity of this pollutant is of concern not only for
the one million workers who are exposed occupationally, but also for the general population.
Over 30 epidemiologic studies of diesel exhaust exposure have been performed, and the
results suggest an increase in lung cancer risk. However, the association is not well
defined. Past studies have suffered from the use of crude indicators of exposure,
inadequate control of confounding, and/or short follow-up periods, low exposure levels, and
small numbers of observations.
NCI and NIOSH are collaborating on two related studies of diesel exhaust under the NCI/NIOSH
Interagency Agreement. First, a retrospective cohort mortality study of about 8,200
non-metal miners will be performed to investigate lung cancer mortality in relation to
quantitative measures of diesel exhaust exposure, and to determine whether there is evidence
of elevated mortality from other causes of death among diesel exhaust exposed miners. The
retrospective cohort study will be performed using existing records and information and has
been exempted from IRB review. NIOSH is the lead agency on the retrospective cohort study.
The proposed study is a case-control study nested in the retrospective cohort of non-metal
miners. The study is expected to include at least 160 members of the cohort who died from
lung cancer and four matched controls for each case. Using a structured questionnaire,
detailed information will be collected on each subject's lifetime exposure to diesel
exhaust, as well as information on smoking and other confounders. This information will
allow investigators to examine the association between lung cancer and different
quantitative measures of diesel exhaust exposure, adjusted for smoking and other potential
Debra Silverman, D.Sc.
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
United States: Federal Government
|National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health||Morgantown, West Virginia 26505-2888|