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Childhood exposure to pollution leads to cancer

Children who are exposed to combustion gases and engine exhaust before or soon after birth might develop childhood cancers like leukaemia.

Childhood exposure to pollution leads to cancer

Children who are exposed to combustion gases and engine exhaust before or soon after birth might develop childhood cancers like leukaemia. Researchers from the University of Birmingham, UK found that these results confirm the relative proximities of child cancer births to substance-specific hotspots from oil-based emissions, and to industrial sites known to discharge such materials. Researchers linked emission hotspots for specific chemicals, from maps available on the Internet to the birth addresses of children who later died from leukaemia or other cancers before their 16th birthday. An excess risk of childhood cancer was noted in hotspots for a variety of chemicals, including carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides and 1,3-butadiene. Although many of the associations seemed to be variant, an independent link with 1,3-butadiene and carbon monoxide remained. These chemicals, which are largely produced by engine exhausts, were powerful predictors of childhood cancer. For example, joint exposure to a nearby bus station and 1,3-butadiene raised the risk of cancer 12.6 fold. The findings suggest that current atmospheric standards for 1,3-butadiene in workplaces may not be low enough to protect from childhood cancer.
Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health,
August 2005
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