Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons: determinants of residential carpet dust levels and risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma

Curt T. DellaValle, Nicole C. Deziel, Rena R. Jones, Joanne S. Colt, Anneclaire J. De Roos, James R. Cerhan, Wendy Cozen, Richard K. Severson, Abigail R. Flory, Lindsay M. Morton, Mary H. Ward

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Purpose: To investigate the risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) associated with residential carpet dust measurements of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Methods: We evaluated the relationship between residential carpet dust PAH concentrations (benz(a)anthracene, benzo(a)pyrene, benzo(b)fluoranthene, benzo(k)fluoranthene, chrysene, dibenz(a,h)anthracene, and indeno(1,2,3-c,d)pyrene, and their sum) and risk of NHL (676 cases, 511 controls) in the National Cancer Institute Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results multicenter case–control study. As a secondary aim, we investigated determinants of dust PAH concentrations. We computed odds ratios (OR) and 95 % confidence interval (CI) for associations between NHL and concentrations of individual and summed PAHs using unconditional logistic regression, adjusting for age, gender, and study center. Determinants of natural log-transformed PAHs were investigated using multivariate least-squares regression. Results: We observed some elevated risks for NHL overall and B cell lymphoma subtypes in association with quartiles or tertiles of PAH concentrations, but without a monotonic trend, and there was no association comparing the highest quartile or tertile to the lowest. In contrast, risk of T cell lymphoma was significantly increased among participants with the highest tertile of summed PAHs (OR = 3.04; 95 % CI, 1.09–8.47) and benzo(k)fluoranthene (OR = 3.20; 95 % CI, 1.13–9.11) compared with the lowest tertile. Predictors of PAH dust concentrations in homes included ambient air PAH concentrations and the proportion of developed land within 2 km of a residence. Older age, more years of education, and white race were also predictive of higher levels in homes. Conclusion: Our results suggest a potential link between PAH exposure and risk of T cell lymphoma and demonstrate the importance of analyzing risk by NHL histologic type.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalCancer Causes and Control
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016


  • Case–control study
  • Dust
  • Non-Hodgkin lymphoma
  • Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons
  • T cell lymphoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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