Chemical Exposure And Hairy Cell Leukemia

Several studies have hinted at chemical exposure as a risk factor, consistent with data seen in other hematologic malignancies. The tendency of HCL to occur in men at a 4:1 ratio suggests that there may be occupational risk factors as well. Summaries of these studies are as follows: Hardel et al. reported on a population-based cancer registry analysis of 515 cases and 1141 controls. They identified increased risks for subjects exposed to herbicides, insecticides, fungicides, and impregnating agents.9 A significant association was found between HCL and insecticides, fungicides, and herbicides, with an overall odds ratio ranging from 1.5 to 2.4 in a study of 226 men with HCL reported by Clavel.10 Nordstrom et al., in the British Journal of Cancer, published a study that also identified exposure to the above mentioned same agents as risk factors.11

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