The European Pollutant Release and Transfer Register (PRTR) constitute a valuable resource for monitoring health effects of industrial pollution. Our objective is to ascertain whether there might be excess colorectal cancer (CRC) mortality among populations residing in the vicinity of Spanish industrial installations governed by the PRTR.
Methods An ecological study of CRC mortality at a municipal level (8098 towns), over the period 1997–2006. We conducted an exploratory “near vs far” analysis to estimate the RRs of towns at a distance of <2 km from installations. The analysis include 24 industrial groups. RRs and their 95% credible/CI were estimated using Poisson regression models, using two approaches: (A) a conditional autoregressive Bayesian model, with explanatory variables; and (B) a mixed regression model. Integrated nested Laplace approximations were used as a Bayesian inference tool.
Results Statistically significant RR were detected in the vicinity of metal production and processing (RR 1.07; 95% CI 1.01 to 1.12), mining (RR 1.26; 95% CI 1.08 to 1.46), paper, pulp and board manufacture (RR 1.07; 95% CI 1.01 to 1.14), ceramic factories (RR 1.05; 95% CI 1.00 to 1.10) and food and beverage production (RR 1.07; 95% CI 1.03 to 1.11).
Conclusions Residing in the vicinity of PRTR-registered industries may constitute a risk factor for CRC, since a higher mortality was detected in both men and women residing in towns with such industries nearby. Some of the differences between men and women suggest that there may be a strong, little-studied component of occupational exposure.
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