Thursday, 7 October 2010

Air pollution linked to breast cancer

Air pollution and its effects on people was one of the stories on BBCLookNorth yesterday. People who live near busy roads suffer, their lives are shortened by nine months, 7000 need hospitalisation and 500 of them die each year.

Air pollution has been on the news for a number of years, and it has been a major issue for England since the last century.

Now a new study links air pollution directly to breast cancer.

The study, published in the prestigious journal Environmental Health Perspectives, by researchers from The Research Institute of the MUHC (RI MUHC; Dr. Mark Goldberg), McGill University (Drs. Goldberg, Dan Crouse and Nancy Ross), and Université de Montréal (Dr. France Labrèche), links the risk of breast cancer – the second leading cause of death from cancer in women – to traffic-related air pollution.

Dr. Goldberg and his colleagues approached the problem by combining data from several studies. First, they used the results of their 2005-2006 study to create two air pollution "maps" showing levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2), a by-product of vehicular traffic, in different parts of Montreal in 1996 and 10 years earlier in 1986.

Then, they charted the home addresses of women diagnosed with breast cancer in a 1996-97 study onto the air pollution maps. Their findings were startling. The incidence of breast cancer was clearly higher in areas with higher levels of air pollution.

These findings are alarming. For those of us who already live near the East Leeds Ring Road, the prospect of more traffic being created due to the proposed incinerators is a cause for great concern.

1 comment:

  1. You shoud go to the Nevilles in Osmondthorp - there is a cluster of cancers there which are possibly linked to the pollution at the Neville Sidings - the arriva train place.