The study was conducted in Taiyuan city, one of the top 10 air polluted cities in the world according to Asian Development Bank's 2012 annual report. Taiyuan is a large industrial city in northern China, which is home to heavy industry, including steel, coal mining and processing and electronics plants.
The study found that among the nonsmokers, lung cancer was strongly associated with multiple sources of indoor air pollution, which included exposure to tobacco smoke at work, frequent cooking and the use of solid fuel, primarily coal, for cooking and heating.
A particle mass monitor was used to measure PM levels inside the homesmostly apartmentsof study participants.
"We found that the smallest type of particulate matter is the type associated with the higher risk of lung cancer among nonsmoking Chinese women," she says. "For every additional ten micrograms per square meter of fine particular matter, there is an associated 45 percent increased risk of lung cancer."
The paper notes that increased lung cancer risk among women was strongly attributed to the fine particles produced by coal combustion for heating and cooking, and from passive smoking.
Mu says that kitchen ventilation systems, such as fans, are not common in China and that people are reluctant to open windows because they want to keep heat in and prevent outdoor pollution from coming inside.
She adds that hot oil, a staple in traditional Chinese stir-frying and deep-frying, produces carcinogens, and is a key contributor.
"Women are at high risk because they are exposed to solid fuel emissions from heating and cooking as well as from passive smoking," she says, adding that smoking is a key social ingredient in China. "Men tend to gather and smoke together, often in small, enclosed spaces, especially in offices."
Mu notes that while in large cities, some restaurants ha
|Contact: Ellen Goldbaum|
University at Buffalo