The abstract is pretty scary if you work in the industry. It’s even scarier if you live near natural gas operations because your exposure will be even greater.
A case-control study of leukemia among petroleum workers.
Sathiakumar N, Delzell E, Cole P, Brill I, Frisch J, Spivey G.
Department of Epidemiology, School of Public Health, University of Alabama at Birmingham 35294-0008, USA.
This case-control study evaluates the relationship between leukemia and the work histories of active and retired employees of a large petroleum company. The study includes 69 cases with leukemia and 284 matched controls. Employment in production-related work in the oil and gas division was associated with myelogenous leukemia (odds ratio [OR] = 2.0, 95% confidence interval [CI] = .97 to 4.2) and particularly with acute myelogenous leukemia (OR = 2.8, 95% CI = 1.1 to 7.3). The association with acute myelogenous leukemia was strongest for subjects in the highest tertile (32+ years) of duration of employment in oil- and gas production-related work (OR = 8.7, 95% CI = 2.0 to 37), and there was a consistent trend of increasing ORs with increasing duration of employment (P = .01). No clear association was observed for refining division work and leukemia. This is the first epidemiologic study reporting a positive association between oil and gas field work and acute myelogenous leukemia.