Environmental Geochemistry and Health

, Volume 40, Issue 6, pp 2481–2490 | Cite as

The association between heavy metal soil pollution and stomach cancer: a case study in Hangzhou City, China

  • Xufeng Fei
  • Zhaohan Lou
  • George Christakos
  • Zhouqiao Ren
  • Qingmin Liu
  • Xiaonan LvEmail author
Original Paper


Stomach cancer (SC) is a severe health burden, with nearly half of the world’s cases found in China. Noticeably, the emissions of heavy metals into the environment have increased alongside rapid urbanization and industrialization in China. However, as regards carcinogenic associations, the relationship between heavy metals and SC is yet unclear. Based on 9378 newly diagnosed SC cases in Hangzhou City from 2009 to 2012, this work is concerned with the quantitative characterization of the spatial distribution pattern of SC incidence and its geographical association with soil heavy metals by means of a novel geographical model. The results show that (a) Cd is one of the severe soil pollutants in Hangzhou; (b) higher SC incidence clusters are in central Hangzhou, whereas lower clusters are found in the northeast and southwest with a male to female incidence ratio about 2.2:1; (c) although when considered separately, the heavy metals in this work do not have a considerable impact on the distribution of SC incidence in Hangzhou City, nevertheless, the joint effects of multiple heavy metals have significant impacts on SC risk. The present work calls for a rigorous quantitative assessment of the integrated heavy metal soil pollution and its effects on SC incidence.


Stomach cancer Heavy metal Spatial distribution GeoDetector 



This work was Funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. NSFC 41671399).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xufeng Fei
    • 1
    • 2
  • Zhaohan Lou
    • 3
  • George Christakos
    • 3
    • 4
  • Zhouqiao Ren
    • 1
    • 2
  • Qingmin Liu
    • 5
  • Xiaonan Lv
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Zhejiang Academy of Agricultural SciencesHangzhouChina
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of Information Traceability of Agricultural ProductsMinistry of AgricultureHangzhouChina
  3. 3.Institute of Islands and Coastal EcosystemsZhejiang UniversityZhoushanChina
  4. 4.Department of GeographySan Diego State UniversitySan DiegoUSA
  5. 5.Hangzhou Center for Disease Control and PreventionHangzhouChina

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