Inhabiting areas polluted with fine particles raises lung cancer risk

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The largest study to date on the correlation between fine particle pollution and lung cancer highlighted an increased risk of lung cancer in areas with soot pollution. The Harvard University researchers examined the exposure data from over a 100 thousand women with pollution exposure, grouping them by three sizes of pollution particle size. The actual source of the pollution varied.

As the particle pollution exposure increased, cancer incidence increase, at a rate of 37 percent (increase) in lung cancer for every 10-microgram per cubic meter increase (smallest particle size). Some data seemed to indicate that traffic-related vehicle pollution was most harmful, but the sample size of women located near major roads was limited. The study did also not test the women themselves for exposure, but rather factored in their location and proximity to pollutants and weather conditions. Previous, pre-study pollutant exposure and other variables not examined highlight the need for further studies to definitively determine the hazard link between fine particle exposure and increased lung cancer incidence.

Inhabiting areas polluted with fine particles raises lung cancer risk
Inhabiting areas polluted with fine particles raises lung cancer risk
Nonsmoking women who live many years in communities polluted with fine particles have an elevated risk of lung cancer, according to new research. “The results are dramatic in the sense that there appears to be a substantial effect of being close to air pollution in terms of risk for cancer,” said Dr. Edelman.
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