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Environ Health. 2013 Feb 22;12:20. doi: 10.1186/1476-069X-12-20.

Residential proximity to industrial combustion facilities and risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma: a case-control study.

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  • 1Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics, National Cancer Institute, Department of Health and Human Services, Rockville, MD, USA.



Residence near municipal solid waste incinerators, a major historical source of dioxin emissions, has been associated with increased risk of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) in European studies. The aim of our study was to evaluate residence near industrial combustion facilities and estimates of dioxin emissions in relation to NHL risk in the United States.


We conducted a population-based case-control study of NHL (1998-2000) in four National Cancer Institute-Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results centers (Detroit, Iowa, Los Angeles, Seattle). Residential histories 15 years before diagnosis (similar date for controls) were linked to an Environmental Protection Agency database of dioxin-emitting facilities for 969 cases and 749 controls. We evaluated proximity (3 and 5 km) to 10 facility types that accounted for >85% of U.S. emissions and a distance-weighted average emission index (AEI [ng toxic equivalency quotient (TEQ)/year]).


Proximity to any dioxin-emitting facility was not associated with NHL risk (3 km OR = 1.0, 95% CI 0.8-1.3). Risk was elevated for residence near cement kilns (5 km OR = 1.7, 95% CI 0.8-3.3; 3 km OR = 3.8, 95% CI 1.1-14.0) and reduced for residence near municipal solid waste incinerators (5 km OR = 0.5, 95% CI 0.3-0.9; 3 km OR = 0.3, 95% CI 0.1-1.4). The AEI was not associated with risk of NHL overall. Risk for marginal zone lymphoma was increased for the highest versus lowest quartile (5 km OR = 2.6, 95% CI 1.0-6.8; 3 km OR = 3.0, 95% CI 1.1-8.3).


Overall, we found no association with residential exposure to dioxins and NHL risk. However, findings for high emissions and marginal zone lymphoma and for specific facility types and all NHL provide some evidence of an association and deserve future study.

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