Benzene-related risk of cancer among offshore workers

There are several ongoing research projects at the Cancer Registry of Norway (CRN) that will investigate cancer risk among offshore workers. This project will look into benzene exposure offshore, and risk of different cancers.
Last updated: 12/8/2020


In recent years, there has been increased awareness of benzene exposure and the associated risk of cancer. Research suggests that benzene has a carcinogenic effect at lower values than first thought, and that benzene exposure may be linked to several types of cancer, as lymphomas and leukaemia. However, these studies used data from the offshore cohort from 1998, which include offshore workers between 1965 and 1998. For evaluation of the more recent risk of cancer, which may be lower than those of the 1980s–1990s, there is a need for new study in data from the last 20 years of offshore activity.


This study will use data from the new “heliport-cohort” to study benzene exposure and the risk of cancer among offshore workers in recent years. The first scientific questions are:

Does benzene exposure measured as a time-dependent variable and occurring at low levels increase the risk of lymphomas, leukaemia, and related cancers?

Does benzene exposure measure as a time-dependent variable lead to increased lung cancer risk when smoking habits are adjusted for?

Project status

In 2020 this project received a grant of 6 mill NOK from the Research Council of Norway, and 1.5 mill NOK from the Norwegian petroleum industry.
A PhD-candidate position will be announced in 2021.