EMPLOYMENT AND EXPOSURES IN THE PETROLEUM REFINING AND PETROCHEMICAL INDUSTRIES AND THE RISK OF LUNG CANCER (EPIDEMIOLOGY, ASSESSMENT)
This dissertation addresses the risk of lung cancer associated with occupational exposures in the petroleum refining and petrochemical industries. Earlier epidemiologic studies of this association did not adjust for cigarette smoking or have specific exposure classifications. The Texas EXposure Assessment System (TEXAS) was developed with data from a population-based, case-comparison study conducted in five southeast Texas counties between 1976 and 1980. The Texas Exposure Assessment System uses job and process categories developed by the American Petroleum Institute, as well as time-oriented variables to identify high risk groups. An industry-wide, increased risk for lung cancer was associated with jobs having low-level hydrocarbon exposure that also include other occupational inhalation exposures (OR = 2.0--adjusted for smoking and latency effects). The prohibition of cigarette smoking for jobs with high-level hydrocarbon exposure might explain part of the increased risk for jobs with low-level hydrocarbon exposures. Asbestos exposure comprises a large part of the risk associated with jobs having other inhalation exposures besides hydrocarbons. Workers in petroleum refineries were not shown to have an increased, occupational risk for lung cancer. The increased risk for lung cancer among petrochemical workers (OR = 3.1--smoking and latency adjusted) is associated with all jobs that involve other inhalation exposure characteristics (not only low-level hydrocarbon exposures). Findings for contract workers and workers exposed to specific chemicals were inconclusive although some hypotheses for future research were identified. The study results demonstrate that the predominant risk for lung cancer is due to cigarette smoking (OR = 9.8). Cigarette smoking accounts for 86.5% of the incident lung cancer cases within the study area. Workers in the petroleum industry smoke significantly less than persons employed in other industries (p << 0.001). Only 2.2% of the incident lung cancer cases may be attributed to petroleum industry jobs; lifestyle factors (e.g., nutrition) may be associated with the balance of the cases. The results from this study also suggest possible high risk time periods (OR = 3.9--smoking and occupation adjusted). Artifacts in time-oriented findings may result because of the latency interval for lung cancer, secular peaks in age-, sex-specific incidence rates, or periods of hazardous exposures in the petroleum industry.
ALDRICH, TIMOTHY EARL, "EMPLOYMENT AND EXPOSURES IN THE PETROLEUM REFINING AND PETROCHEMICAL INDUSTRIES AND THE RISK OF LUNG CANCER (EPIDEMIOLOGY, ASSESSMENT)" (1985). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI8617346.