Wood dust exposure and the association with lung cancer risk

Carlos H. Barcenas, George L. Delclos, Randa El-Zein, Guillermo Tortolero-Luna, Lawrence W. Whitehead, Margaret R. Spitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations


Background: Wood dust was designated as a human carcinogen based on increased sinus and nasal cancer rates among exposed workers. However, data on an association with lung cancer have been inconclusive. Methods: Self-reported wood dust exposure was compared between 1,368 lung cancer patients and 1,192 cancer-free adults, in a lung cancer case-control study. Epidemiological information was collected through a detailed personal interview. Results: Using several definitions of wood dust exposure we consistently observed statistically significant elevated adjusted risk estimates; for example, the adjusted odds ratio (OR) for combined wood dust related occupations and industries was 3.15 (95% confidence intervals (CI) 1.45-6.86) and for an overall summary exposure measure it was 1.60 (95% CI 1.19-2.14). The association was maintained when stratified by histopathological type. Among those exposed to cigarette smoke and wood dust, 21% of the cases were attributable to biologic interaction. Conclusions: Wood dust exposure is a potential risk factor for lung cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)349-357
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Industrial Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2005


  • Case-control studies
  • Industry codes
  • Lung cancer
  • Occupational cancer
  • Occupational codes
  • Occupational exposure
  • Wood dust

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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