Organic Solvents May Explain Rise in NHL Among Women

Research carried out by the Yale School of Public Health and published in the American Journal of Epidemiology suggests that the 3-4% annual rise in incidence of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) over the last few decades may be at least in part due to exposure to organic solvents while working at a job that, for instance, requires using pesticides, embalming fluids, or places such as dry cleaning facilities.

By definition, an organic solvent contains carbon. Researchers looked at 601 women with NHL compared to 717 women without NHL and found that on-the-job exposure to:

Chlorinated solvents (organic solvents with chlorine) raised the risk of NHL by 40%
Formaldehyde exposure raised the risk by 30%
Carbon tetrachloride and benzene (both organic solvents and known human carcinogens) also raised the risk, although figures weren’t provided.

The researchers concluded that "these results support a potential association between occupational exposure to organic solvents and the risk of NHL among women.”

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