Original paper

Cancer Causes & Control

, Volume 20, Issue 9, pp 1645-1651

Ambient air pollution and brain cancer mortality

  • Roberta McKean-CowdinAffiliated withDepartment of Preventive Medicine, University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine, Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center Email author 
  • , Eugenia E. CalleAffiliated withAmerican Cancer Society, National Home Office
  • , John M. PetersAffiliated withDepartment of Preventive Medicine, University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine, Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center
  • , Jane HenleyAffiliated withAmerican Cancer Society, National Home Office
  • , Lindsay HannanAffiliated withAmerican Cancer Society, National Home Office
  • , George D. ThurstonAffiliated withNYU School of Medicine
  • , Michael J. ThunAffiliated withAmerican Cancer Society, National Home Office
  • , Susan Preston-MartinAffiliated withDepartment of Preventive Medicine, University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine, Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center

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Abstract

Objective

Growing evidence that ultrafine particles in ambient air can cause brain lesions in animals led us to investigate whether particulate components of air pollution may be associated with brain cancer risk in humans. Air pollution has been associated with respiratory disorders and cardiovascular morbidity and mortality, but associations between air pollutants and brain cancer have not been investigated in adults.

Methods

The analyses included 1,284 deaths due to brain cancer from the Cancer Prevention Study-II, an ongoing prospective mortality study of adults in the United States and Puerto Rico conducted by the American Cancer Society. Air pollution data from national databases for metropolitan areas were combined with residential history and vital status data to estimate exposure to particulate and gaseous air pollution.

Results

We found no elevated risk for estimated measures of air pollutants, an unanticipated reduction in risk was found between gaseous air pollutants and brain cancer mortality.

Conclusion

The findings do not provide evidence of increased risk of brain cancer mortality due to air pollutants.

Keywords

Brain cancer Mortality Air pollution Cohort Particulate matter Epidemiology