Occupational brain Cancer risks in Umbria (Italy), with a particular focus on steel foundry workers

Enrico Oddone, Alessandra Scaburri, Edoardo Bai, Carlo Modonesi, Fabrizio Stracci, Giuliano Marchionna, Paolo Crosignani, Marcello Imbriani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: As a part of the Occupational Cancer Monitoring (OCCAM) project, a routine analysis based on Umbria region cancer registry (RTUP) database in 2002-2008 was performed. Among other results, the incidental finding of brain cancer increased risk in steel foundry workers in Terni province (Italy), lead us to deepen the analysis, focusing on this specific industrial sector. Methods: A monitoring study, based on Umbria Regional Cancer Registry data, was recently carried out. Brain cancer cases and controls identified within this preliminary study were selected. Therefore, we considered all incident cases (in Umbria region 2002-2008) of brain cancer occurred among workers occupied for at least one year in private companies since 1974 and controls randomly sampled from the same population. Afterwards, taking in to account results from steel foundry in Temi province, we further deepened our analysis, focusing on this productive sector. Odds ratios (ORs) and corresponding 90% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated using multiple logistic regression models, adjusted by age at diagnosis or sampling, sex and province of residence, when appropriate. Results: Statistical analyses were carried out on 14913 subjects, 56 cases and 14857 controls. Significantly increased ORs were observed for garment, mechanical manufacturing and chemical industries. Moreover, the risk estimates were strongly correlated with exposures in iron and steel foundries and a cluster of 14 cases in the same foundry in Terni was observed (OR 9.59, 90%C12.76-3334). Conclusions: Results of this explorative study showed increased ORs of brain cancer in some productive branches, involving possible exposures to chemical compounds and/or solvents. Moreover, our results pointed out a significantly increased risk in Terni foundry workers, determining an interesting brain cancer cluster (14 cases). Further studies on this industrial sector are needed with improved definitions of tasks and exposures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-117
Number of pages7
JournalGiornale Italiano di Medicina del Lavoro ed Ergonomia
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Brain cancer
  • Case-control study
  • Glioblastoma
  • Occam project
  • Occupational exposures
  • Steel foundry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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