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October 3, 1966

Occupational and Environmental Cancers of the Respiratory System

JAMA. 1966;198(1):93. doi:10.1001/jama.1966.03110140143052

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This comprehensive work by an author well known in the field of occupational cancer contains 155 pages of text and more than 50 pages of references, indicating how exhaustive is the survey. The epidemiology of respiratory carcinogens is well covered with relation to the nasal sinuses, larynx, and lungs. The enormous variety of possible carcinogenic agents includes dust, silica, tobacco, arsenic, asbestos, chromium, nickel, iron, beryllium, mustard gas, isopropyl oil, coal tar and products, petroleum and products, ionizing radiation (especially in all phases of the uranium industry), and miscellaneous respiratory carcinogens.

Several interesting points touched upon are compilation of cases of lung cancer with arsenic exposure, documentation of cases of mesothelioma of pleura and peritoneum in asbestosis, and parallelism between lung cancer and amount of chromium ore produced since 1900, with precipitous rise in both, and with squamous cell and undifferentiated carcinomas as the common types (as also observed with