Occupational Exposure

The influence of occupational exposures was suggested by the excessive MF mortality rates in countries where petroleum, rubber, primary and fabricated metal, machinery, and printing industries were located (42,48). In a more recent study, employment in a manufacturing occupation (especially petrochemical, textile, metal, and machinery industries) was shown to be a risk factor (38). Workers employed in the petroleum industry have limited evidence for excess leukemia and other lymphatic and hematopoietic neoplasms, and skin cancer (particularly malignant melanoma) (49). Furthermore, studies on exposure to benzene in a multinational cohort of more than 308,000 petroleum workers followed from 1937 to 1996 indicated that these workers were not at an increased risk of NHL (50).

Epidemiological studies assessing an association between hair dyes and the risk of cutaneous NHL in humans did not reveal a direct relationship (51).

Malignant lymphoma and multiple myeloma in New Zealand have been found to be linked with agricultural occupations (2). In a study performed in Sweden from 1961 to 1979, the risks of one or more types of lymphoproliferative malignancies (including MF) were significantly increased among women working in the agriculture and textile industries, housekeepers, and post office employees. Limitations of these linked-registry data include lack of detailed information on specific exposures and duration of employment, and the relatively small sizes of specific occupational cohorts (28).

In summary, so far no definite association between specific antigen exposures and MF has been established.

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