Monday, May 6, 2013

Traffic-Related Pollution and Early Childhood Cancers

(Science Daily, Apr. 9, 2013)    

And here: Many US Public Schools In 'Air Pollution Danger Zone'(Science Daily, Aug. 20, 2008)   

Today we review a paper presented at a conference of the American Association for Cancer Research (but not published as yet) on the links between exposure of a fetus and first year of life to traffic-related air pollution in California. Results indicate a statistical link with 14 to 19 % increased risk for pediatric cancers affecting white blood cells (leukemia), tumours and the eyes. More research is called for to establish a cause and effect link, such as between traffic-related pollution and asthma for children.    
cancer 2011 
Key Quotes:   

"Much less is known about exposure to pollution and childhood cancer than adult cancers,"  

 "We studied pregnancy exposures because the fetus is likely to be more vulnerable to environmental factors during that time, and we also know that certain childhood cancers originate in utero."   

 “higher exposure to traffic-related air pollution increased the chance the child had acute lymphoblastic leukemia (white blood cell cancer) by 4 percent. There was also a 17 percent increased risk in germ-cell tumors (cancers of the testicles, ovaries and other organs), and a 14 percent higher risk of retinoblastoma (eye cancer). Children with retinoblastoma had a 19 percent increased incidence of bilateral retinoblastoma -- where both eyes are affected -- if they were exposed to high levels of pollution”   

“No specific period looked at was linked to higher incidences of these cancers, so scientists were unable to determine if a certain time during development was more dangerous to be exposed to pollution than others.” 

"This is the first study that's ever been reported on air pollution as it relates to rarer pediatric cancers, so it needs to be replicated in other states or in other countries….It would be interesting to determine if there are specific pollutants like benzene or polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons that are driving these associations."

“The study is considered preliminary because it was presented at a medical conference, and hasn't been published yet in a peer-reviewed journal.”  
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