It has long been known that occupational or environmental exposure to arsenic (As) may cause skin and lung cancer. Moreover, several epidemiological studies on populations exposed to inorganic As by ingestion indicate an increased risk for cancer at other sites and, particularly, for bladder cancer. We describe the case of a petrol chemical worker, who died of metastasized bladder cancer at the age of 52, after being employed for over 30 years in a hydrogen production unit. Analysis of the technological cycle and biological monitoring data revealed an excessive, prolonged exposure to arsenic trioxide (As2O3) vapours and fumes; a solution of this compound was utilized to absorb the CO2 produced by oxidation of the synthesis gas. Careful anamnesis indicated a prolonged contact between the carcinogen and the bladder mucosa, due to the presence of severe urethral stenosis with chronic urinary obstruction. It also appears likely that synergism between As exposure and smoking (5-10 cigarettes per day until 46 years) occurred. This case suggests the opportunity to extend to the occupational setting future epidemiological research on the relationship between inorganic As exposure and bladder cancer.
|Translated title of the contribution||Possible etiologic role of occupational exposure to arsenic anhydride in a case of bladder carcinoma|
|Number of pages||4|
|Journal||Giornale Italiano di Medicina del Lavoro|
|Publication status||Published - Jan 1996|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health