Academic journal article Environmental Health Perspectives

Errors in TCE Analysis

Academic journal article Environmental Health Perspectives

Errors in TCE Analysis

Article excerpt

We read with interest the epidemiologic overview and evaluation of trichloroethylene (TCE) and cancer recently published by Wartenberg et al. (1). Unfortunately, there were a number of errors in Table 5 (1) concerning risks reported in our study of workers exposed to TCE during the manufacturing of aircraft (2). For example, the standardized mortality ratio (SMR) and the 95% confidence interval (CI) presented for multiple myeloma were actually those for Hodgkin's disease. There were also serious errors in the listed SMR and CI for stomach cancer as well as discrepancies in the presentation of CIs for 10 other sites (Table 1). These incorrect values were included in the meta-analyses to make inferences regarding the carcinogenic potential of TCE; thus, they should be revised.

Table 1. Discrepancies between TCE and cancer
risks as reported by Boice et al. (2) and as listed
in Table 5 of the recent review by Wartenberg et
al. (1).

                      Boice      Wartenberg
Cancer site         et al. (2)   et al. (1)

Multiple myeloma
  SMR (no. cases)    0.9 (6)      2.8 (4)
  95% CI            (0.3-2.0)    (1.1-7.1)
Stomach
  SMR (no. cases)    1.3 (17)     0.8 (7)
  95% CI            (0.8-2.1)    (0.4-1.7)
Cervix
  SMR (no. cases)    0.0 (0)         --
  95% CI            (0.0-5.5)        --
Leukemia
  SMR (no. cases)    1.1 (12)     1.0 (12)
  95% CI            (0. … 
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