BUFFALO, N.Y. The hazards of breathing outdoor air in some Chinese cities have been well-documented. Now a University at Buffalo study confirms that breathing indoor air also carries significant cancer risks, especially for Chinese women.
The UB study, published online this month, in the journal Cancer Causes & Control, found that indoor air pollution that generates fine particulate matter is a key contributor to the high rates of lung cancer among Chinese women, despite the fact that few of them smoke.
The research found indoor particulate matter levels that are at least double the maximum level considered acceptable by World Health Organization guidelines. The study is the first to measure particulate matter (PM) levels inside the home and to link it with the incidence of lung cancer in Chinese women.
"Our results show that besides smoking, indoor air pollution contributes significantly to women's lung cancer risk in China," says Lina Mu, MD, PhD, assistant professor of social and preventive medicine in the UB School of Public Health and Health Professions and lead author on the paper.
While around 60 percent of Chinese men smoke, Chinese women have extremely low smoking ratesapproximately four percent. However, women's rates of lung cancer in China are among the highest in the world, approximately 21 cases per 100,000, while smoking accounts for less than 20 per cent of lung cancer cases in Chinese women, says Mu.
"That's why we wanted to find out how much indoor air pollution contributes to lung cancer risk among Chinese women," says Mu. "It has been suspected but not measured."
The paper notes that since women tend to be home for longer periods of time and to cook more frequently, housing-related exposure is more of a factor among women than men.
The case-control study includes 429 Chinese women: 197 who had lung cancer and 232 who were controls. Of the 197
|Contact: Ellen Goldbaum|
University at Buffalo