A brief review of relationship between occupational benzene exposure and hematopoietic cancer

Jin Ha Yoon, Woo Seok Kwak, Yeon Soon Ahn

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12 Citations (Scopus)


We reviewed articles to clarify the current evidence status for 1) types of cancer which related to benzene exposure, and 2) certain benzene exposure level which might cause the hematopoietic cancers. Hematopoietic function of the bone marrow is involved in the production of all blood cells types. The benzene metabolites including benzoquinone and mucoaldehyde affect hematopoietic stem cells as well as differentiation steps of progenitor cells for each blood cell. Hence, we concluded that benzene was associated with all lymphohematic carcinogenesis. First, it is supported by biological plausibility. Second, it is supported by meta-analysis although sing study did not show relationship due to lack of sample size or statistical power. More recent studies show lesser exposed level related to risk of cancer, compare to past studies did. Actually, early studies show the risk of malignancies in workers who exposed more than 200 ppm-years. However, only 0.5 to 1 ppm-year benzene exposed show significant linking to risk of malignancies in recent study. As reviewed research articles, we concluded that the relatively lower exposure level, such as 0.5-1 ppm-year, will be considering at risk of hematopoietic cancer. However, more research needs to be done on dose-response analysis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number33
JournalAnnals of Occupational and Environmental Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2018 May 10

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 The Author(s).

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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