aa National School of Public Health Athens Greece
aa National School of Public Health, Athens, Greece ab PATH, Seattle, USA
Handling Editor: Heather Stapleton Keywords:
Background: Alkylphenolic compounds are chemicals with endocrine disrupting properties that 4μ8C have been widely used in industry with important changes in their usage over time. Few epidemiologic studies have
Corresponding author at: Unit of Molecular Epidemiology and Genetics in Infections and Cancer, Cancer Epidemiology Research Programme, Institut Català d'Oncologia, Av. Gran Via de l'Hospitalet 199-203, 08908 L'Hospitalet de Llobregat, Spain. E-mail address: [email protected] (L. Costas).
Available online 13 December 2018
P. Peremiquel-Trillas et al.
evaluated the effect of alkylphenolic compounds on human health.
Objectives: We investigated whether occupational exposure to alkylphenolic compounds is associated with breast and prostate cancer.
Methods: We carried out a population-based case–control study including 1513 incident cases of breast cancer, 1095 of prostate cancer, and 3055 controls, frequency matched by sex, age and region. Occupational exposure to alkylphenolic compounds was estimated using a recently developed job-exposure matrix, which considered different scenarios of exposure and different subtypes of alkylphenolic compounds.
Results: History of occupational exposure to alkylphenolic compounds was modestly associated with breast cancer (OR = 1.23; 95% CI = 1.01–1.48). Within the different scenarios, the occupational use of domestic tensioactives was positively associated with breast cancer (OR = 1.28; 95% CI = 1.02–1.60), while occupational exposure in other scenarios showed mostly a suggestion of a similar positive associations. Exposure to non-ylphenol ethoxylates was positively associated with breast cancer (OR = 1.21; 95% CI = 1.00–1.47), while exposure to other compounds was uncommon. In general, we did not observe associations between alkylphenolic compounds and prostate cancer, except for a positive association among men occupationally exposed to cos-metic, hair and personal hygiene products. Conclusions: Our findings suggest a modest association between breast cancer risk and occupational exposure to alkylphenolic compounds, and no associations between these compounds and prostate cancer risk. These find-ings warrant further corroboration in other studies.
Alkylphenolic compounds are organic chemicals generally produced for the manufacture of alkylphenolic ethoxylates (APE), which are mainly used as non-ionic surfactants, but also in a wide range of ap-plications. Nonylphenol (NP), octylphenol (OP) and their ethoxylates (NPE and OPE, respectively) are the most commonly used alkylphenolic compounds (Lassen et al., 2013). Exposure to these chemicals can occur occupationally during their production or with exposure to domestic and industrial detergents, specialty paints, pesticides, cosmetics and hair dyes, among others (Lassen et al., 2013), but also as a consequence of non-occupational exposures, such as diet and water intake, use of personal care and household cleaning products. Due to the toxicity and bioaccumulation of alkylphenolic compounds in marine organisms (Hansen et al., 2002), in 2003 the European Union limited the com-mercialization of products containing NP and NPE in concentrations over 0.1% (European Union, 2003). Alkylphenols and short-chain al-kylphenolic ethoxylates are considered endocrine disruptors, mainly because of their effects mediated by estrogen receptors (Isidori et al., 2010; Olsen et al., 2005; Sun et al., 2008; White et al., 1994). NP has shown estrogenic effects in a number of in vitro (yeast, ZR-75 and MCF-7 human breast cancer cell lines) and in vivo assays (among rats and mice), although the potency of this activity was moderately lower than that of estradiol (in vitro assays showed an activity between 3 and 6 orders of lesser magnitude) (Bontje et al., 2004; Rotroff et al., 2014). Sex hormones play critical roles in the development of breast and prostate cancers (Acevedo et al., 2005; Gray et al., 2017; Hess-Wilson and Knudsen, 2006; Risbridger et al., 2010; Villeneuve et al., 2010a) and therefore we hypothesized that alkylphenolic compounds could have an influence on the development of these neoplasms. Over the last decades, there is growing interest in this field and a consequent in-creased knowledge of the potential impact of these chemicals on the environment and on human health (Bergman et al., 2013; Casals-Casas and Desvergne, 2011; Damstra et al., 2002).