Hobbies with solvent exposure and risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma

Joanne S. Colt, Patricia Hartge, Scott Davis, James R. Cerhan, Wendy Cozen, Richard K. Severson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Occupational exposure to solvents has been reported to increase non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) risk in some, but not all, studies. In a population-based case-control study, we examined whether participation in selected hobbies involving solvent exposure increases NHL risk. We identified NHL cases diagnosed at ages 20-74 years between 1998 and 2000 in Iowa or metropolitan Los Angeles, Detroit, and Seattle. Controls were selected using random digit dialing or Medicare files. Computer-assisted personal interviews (551 cases, 462 controls) elicited data on model building, painting/silkscreening/artwork, furniture refinishing, and woodworking/home carpentry. Hobby participation (68% of cases, 69% of controls) was not associated with NHL risk (OR = 0.9, 95% CI = 0.7-1.2). Compared to people with none of the hobbies evaluated, those who built models had significantly lower risk (OR = 0.7, CI = 0.5-1.0), but risk did not vary with the number of years or lifetime hours. Risk estimates for the other hobbies were generally less than one, but the associations were not significant and there were no notable patterns with duration of exposure. Use of oil-based, acrylic, or water-based paints; paint strippers; polyurethane; or varnishes was not associated with NHL risk. We conclude that participation in hobbies involving exposure to organic solvents is unlikely to increase NHL risk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)385-390
Number of pages6
JournalCancer Causes and Control
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 2007


  • Epidemiology
  • Exposure assessment
  • Hobbies
  • Non-Hodgkin lymphoma
  • Solvents

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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