Case-control study of bladder cancer and water disinfection methods in Colorado
A population-based case-control study of bladder cancer and drinking water disinfection methods was conducted during 1990–1991 in Colorado. Surface water in Colorado has historically been disinfected with chlorine (chlorination) or with a combination of chlorine and ammonia (chloramination). A total of 327 histologically Verified bladder cancer cases were frequency matched by age and sex to 261 other-cancer controls. Subjects were interviewed by telephone about residential and water source histories. This information was linked to data from water utility and Colorado Department of Health records to create a drinking water exposure profile. After adjustment for cigarette smoking, tap water and coffee consumption, and medical history factors by logistic regression, years of exposure to chlorinated surface water were significantly associated with risk for bladder cancer (p = 0.0007). The odds ratio for bladder cancer increased for longer durations of exposure to a level of 1.8 (95% confidence interval 1.1–2.9) for more than 30 years of exposure to chlorinated surface water compared with no exposure. The increased bladder cancer risk was similar for males and females and for nonsmokers and smokers. Levels of total trihalomethanes, nitrates, and residual chlorine were not associated with bladder cancer risk after controlling for years of exposure to chlorinated water.