Next Article in Journal
Estimation of Effective Day Length at Any Light Intensity Using Solar Radiation Data
Previous Article in Journal
A Methodological Approach to Assessing the Health Impact of Environmental Chemical Mixtures: PCBs and Hypertension in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey
Previous Article in Special Issue
Identification of Occupational Cancer Risks in British Columbia, Canada: A Population-Based Case—Control Study of 1,155 Cases of Colon Cancer
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessReview
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8(11), 4238-4271;

Trichloroethylene and Cancer: Systematic and Quantitative Review of Epidemiologic Evidence for Identifying Hazards

National Center for Environmental Assessment, Office of Research and Development, United States Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, DC 20460, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 22 September 2011 / Revised: 21 October 2011 / Accepted: 26 October 2011 / Published: 9 November 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Occupational Cancer)
Full-Text   |   PDF [365 KB, uploaded 19 June 2014]


We conducted a meta-analysis focusing on studies with high potential for trichloroethylene (TCE) exposure to provide quantitative evaluations of the evidence for associations between TCE exposure and kidney, liver, and non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) cancers. A systematic review documenting essential design features, exposure assessment approaches, statistical analyses, and potential sources of confounding and bias identified twenty-four cohort and case-control studies on TCE and the three cancers of interest with high potential for exposure, including five recently published case-control studies of kidney cancer or NHL. Fixed- and random-effects models were fitted to the data on overall exposure and on the highest exposure group. Sensitivity analyses examined the influence of individual studies and of alternative risk estimate selections. For overall TCE exposure and kidney cancer, the summary relative risk (RRm) estimate from the random effects model was 1.27 (95% CI: 1.13, 1.43), with a higher RRm for the highest exposure groups (1.58, 95% CI: 1.28, 1.96). The RRm estimates were not overly sensitive to alternative risk estimate selections or to removal of an individual study. There was no apparent heterogeneity or publication bias. For NHL, RRm estimates for overall exposure and for the highest exposure group, respectively, were 1.23 (95% CI: 1.07, 1.42) and 1.43 (95% CI: 1.13, 1.82) and, for liver cancer, 1.29 (95% CI: 1.07, 1.56) and 1.28 (95% CI: 0.93, 1.77). Our findings provide strong support for a causal association between TCE exposure and kidney cancer. The support is strong but less robust for NHL, where issues of study heterogeneity, potential publication bias, and weaker exposure-response results contribute uncertainty, and more limited for liver cancer, where only cohort studies with small numbers of cases were available. View Full-Text
Keywords: trichloroethylene; meta-analysis; kidney cancer; liver cancer; NHL; occupational exposure trichloroethylene; meta-analysis; kidney cancer; liver cancer; NHL; occupational exposure
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

Supplementary material


Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Siegel Scott, C.; Jinot, J. Trichloroethylene and Cancer: Systematic and Quantitative Review of Epidemiologic Evidence for Identifying Hazards. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2011, 8, 4238-4271.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health EISSN 1660-4601 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top