Cancer Causes & Control

, Volume 24, Issue 3, pp 439–450 | Cite as

Indoor air pollution and risk of lung cancer among Chinese female non-smokers

  • Lina MuEmail author
  • Li Liu
  • Rungui Niu
  • Baoxing Zhao
  • Jianping Shi
  • Yanli Li
  • Mya Swanson
  • William Scheider
  • Jia Su
  • Shen-Chih Chang
  • Shunzhang Yu
  • Zuo-Feng Zhang
Original paper



To investigate indoor particulate matter (PM) level and various indoor air pollution exposure, and to examine their relationships with risk of lung cancer in an urban Chinese population, with a focus on non-smoking women.


We conducted a case–control study in Taiyuan, China, consisting of 399 lung cancer cases and 466 controls, of which 164 cases and 218 controls were female non-smokers. Indoor PM concentrations, including PM1, PM2.5, PM7, PM10, and TSP, were measured using a particle mass monitor. Unconditional logistic regression models were used to calculate odds ratios (ORs) and 95 % confidence intervals after adjusting for age, education, annual income, and smoking.


Among non-smoking women, lung cancer was strongly associated with multiple sources of indoor air pollution 10 years ago, including heavy exposure to environmental tobacco smoke at work (aOR = 3.65), high frequency of cooking (aOR = 3.30), and solid fuel usage for cooking (aOR = 4.08) and heating (aORcoal stove = 2.00). Housing characteristics related to poor ventilation, including single-story, less window area, no separate kitchen, no ventilator, and rarely having windows open, are associated with lung cancer. Indoor medium PM2.5 concentration was 68 μg/m3, and PM10 was 230 μg/m3. PM levels in winter are strongly correlated with solid fuel usage for cooking, heating, and ventilators. PM1 levels in cases are more than 3 times higher than that in controls. Every 10 μg/m3 increase in PM1 is associated with 45 % increased risk of lung cancer.


Indoor air pollution plays an important role in the development of lung cancer among non-smoking Chinese women.


Indoor air pollution Lung cancer Particulate matter Chinese non-smoking female 



Particulate matter


Environmental tobacco smoke


Odds ratio


Adjusted OR

95 % CI

95 % confidence interval


Indoor air pollution


Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons



This work was supported in part by the National Nature Science Foundation of China grant award to Dr. Lina Mu (NSFC-30500417). The work is also partially supported by NIH grants (ES06718, CA09142, DA11386) and the Alper Research Center for Environmental Genomics of the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Conflict of interest

We have no financial relationship with the organizations that sponsored the research.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lina Mu
    • 1
    Email author
  • Li Liu
    • 2
  • Rungui Niu
    • 3
  • Baoxing Zhao
    • 2
  • Jianping Shi
    • 2
  • Yanli Li
    • 1
  • Mya Swanson
    • 1
  • William Scheider
    • 1
  • Jia Su
    • 4
  • Shen-Chih Chang
    • 5
  • Shunzhang Yu
    • 4
  • Zuo-Feng Zhang
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, School of Public Health and Health ProfessionsUniversity at Buffalo, SUNYBuffaloUSA
  2. 2.Taiyuan City Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)TaiyuanChina
  3. 3.Shanxi Tumor HospitalTaiyuanChina
  4. 4.School of Public HealthFudan UniversityShanghaiChina
  5. 5.Department of Epidemiology, Fielding School of Public HealthUniversity of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)Los AngelesUSA

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