chapter  Chapter 17
22 Pages

Industrial Risks of Colorectal Cancer

WithSamuel S. Epstein

This chapter analyzes the epidemiologic literature on the role of industrial exposures as risk factors for colorectal cancer. After lung cancer and mesotheliomas, colorectal cancer is the third most common malignancy in asbestos workers, accounting for up to one-third of their excess cancer mortality. The high risk of asbestos workers for colon cancer probably reflects exposure of colonic mucosa to swallowed asbestos-contaminated sputum. Ethylacrylate and methyl methacrylate are monomers that can be converted into versatile transparent polymers. They were widely used during World War II, mostly in the manufacture of airplanes. In 1975, five workers in a Canadian plant involved in the manufacture of synthetic fiber textiles developed undifferentiated colon cancer over 18 months. Dibromochloropropane is a potent carcinogen, including a wide range of tumors in mice and rats in sites including stomach, nasal cavity, pharynx, breast, kidney, and liver, following oral or inhalation administration.