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To evaluate the association between exposure to chlorinated solvents and cancer.We conducted a case–control study of occupational exposures and cancer in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, including 3730 cancer cases and 533 population controls. Occupational exposures were derived using a combination of subject-reported job history and expert assessment. We examined the associations between two chemical families and six chlorinated solvents with 11 sites of cancer.The majority of the associations examined were null, although many were based on small numbers. We found two significantly elevated odds ratios (ORs), one between perchloroethylene and prostate cancer (OR = 4.3; 95% CI: 1.4 to 13) and another between trichloroethylene and melanoma (OR = 3.2; 95% CI: 1.0 to 9.9).There was little evidence of associations between chlorinated solvents and cancer. Limited power precludes strong inferences about absence of risk. We raise hypotheses about two possible associations: perchloroethylene with prostate cancer and trichloroethylene with melanoma.