Saf Health Work.  2017 Sep;8(3):315-317. 10.1016/

Indolent B-Cell Lymphoid Malignancy in the Spleen of a Man Who Handled Benzene: Splenic Marginal Zone Lymphoma

  • 1Occupational Safety and Health Research Institute, Korea Occupational Safety and Health Agency, Ulsan, Republic of Korea.
  • 2Department of Occupational & Environmental Medicine, Gachon University Gil Medical Center, Incheon, Republic of Korea.


We present the case of a 45-year-old man with a history of benzene exposure who developed splenic marginal zone lymphoma. For 6 years, he had worked in an enclosed space cleaning instruments with benzene. He was diagnosed with splenic marginal zone lymphoma 19 years after retirement. During his time of working in the laboratory in the 1980s, working environments were not monitored for hazardous materials. We indirectly estimated the cumulative level of past benzene exposure using job-exposure matrices and technical assumptions. Care must be taken in investigating the relevance of occupational benzene exposure in the occurrence of indolent B-cell lymphoma. Because of the long latency period and because occupational measurement data do not exist for the period during the patient's exposure, the epidemiological impact of benzene exposure may be underestimated.


Keywords; benzene; non-Hodgkin lymphoma; splenic marginal zone lymphoma
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