CANCER MORTALITY IN TOWNS IN THE VICINITY OF INSTALLATIONS FOR THE PRODUCTION OF CEMENT, LIME, PLASTER AND MAGNESIUM OXIDE
METHODS: An ecologic study was designed to examine municipal mortality due to 33 types of cancer, across the period 1997-2006 in Spain. Population exposure to pollution was estimated on the basis of distance from town of residence to pollution source, obtaining this information from the European Pollution Release and Transfer Register. Using spatial Besag-York-Molliť regression models with Integrated Nested Laplace approximations for Bayesian inference we assessed the relative risk of dying from cancer in a 5-kilometer zone around installations, analyzed the effect of category of industrial activity.
RESULTS: Excess all cancer mortality (relative risk, 95% credible interval) was detected in the vicinity of these installations as a whole (1.04, 1.01-1.07 in men; 1.03, 1.00-1.06 in women), and, principally, in the vicinity of cement installations (1.05, 1.01-1.09 in men). Special mention should be made of the results for tumors of colon-rectum in both sexes (1.07, 1.01-1.14 in men; 1.10, 1.03-1.16 in women), and pleura (1.71, 1.24-2.28), peritoneum (1.62, 1.15-2.20), gallbladder (1.21, 1.02-1.42), bladder (1.11, 1.03-1.20) and stomach (1.09, 1.00-1.18) in men in the vicinity of all such installations. On stratifying by type of industrial activity, statistically significant associations were also observed for lime installations and renal (1.54, 1.10-2.06) and brain (1.37, 1.05-1.74) cancers in women.
CONCLUSIONS: Our results could support the hypothesis of an excess risk of dying from cancer in towns near installations for the production of cement, lime, plaster and magnesium oxide.