Traditionally, occupational research has focused primarily on white men, even though women comprise nearly half of the U.S. civilian workforce, and minorities are often employed in jobs with hazardous exposures. The OEEB has undertaken a number of population-based epidemiologic studies which include women and minorities during the past year, with a substantial focus in occupation . In the Agricultural Health Study, a prospective cohort study of more than 90,000 subjects, including approximately 32,000 women and 2,000 minorities, both direct occupational exposure and indirect environmental exposure to pesticides and other exposures are being evaluated for association with breast and other cancers. Diesel exhaust from farm equipment is also being evaluated for associations with lung cancer among the spouses of farmers. The Shanghai Women's Study is a prospective cohort study of 75,000 women conducted by Vanderbilt University in collaboration with NCI and the Shanghai Cancer Institute. Blood/buccal cell and urine samples have been collected from nearly 90% of participants. Exposure assessment to to benzene has been based on industrial monitoring data maintained by the Shanghai municipal government. Cancer risk in relation to occupation and industry of employment is being evaluated, including a recent report of lung cancer risk associated with employment in certain occupations that may have exposure to potential industrial carcinogens. Two studies have also been conducted within this study, focused on the effect of night shift work on melatonin levels and on overall cancer risk. The New England Bladder Cancer study, a large multicenter case-control study of bladder cancer is on-going to examine environmental and occupational risk factors and the reasons for the consistently elevated incidence and mortality of this cancer in New England. The U.S. kidney cancer study is the first study of this cancer that included a sufficient number of African Americans for separate evaluation of their risks, and the contribution of environmental and occupational risk factors to the racial disparity in incidence of this cancer. NCI is leading the environmental sampling component of the California childhood leukemia case-control study. The approximately 40% Hispanic and 10% Asian participants in this study provide an opportunity to evaluate agricultural and other risk factors among these minorities. An evaluation of BDEs and leukemia has been conducted.

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