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Chemical site link to cancer

Monday July 29th, 2013

People living near some chemical refineries may face an increased risk of developing a kind of blood cancer, researchers warned today.

The link has been found with industrial refineries that release the chemical benzene.

Benzene has long been linked to a range of blood cancers but the latest findings claims that "passive benzene exposure" is a new hazard.

US researchers conducted their study in the southern state of Georgia, analysing cases of non-Hodgkin lymphoma over a ten-year period.

They found high rates of disease around one industrial site in Savannah and high rates in another district, Augusta, they report in Cancer.

The researchers say their analysis suggests a 0.31% reduction in risk of developing the disease for every mile someone lived away from a site that released benzene.

Researcher Catherine Bulka, of Emory University, Atlanta, said: "Our study is the first to examine the relationship between passive benzene exposure and the incidence of non-Hodgkin lymphoma at the state population level.

"Our findings are limited without similar studies to corroborate our results, but we hope that our research will inform readers of the potential risks of living near facilities that release carcinogens into the air, groundwater, or soil."

Residence proximity to benzene release sites is associated with increased incidence of non-Hodgkin lymphoma Cancer 29 July 2013 [abstract]

Tags: Cancer | North America

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