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Arch Environ Health. 1999 Jul-Aug;54(4):291-6.

Risks of developing cancer relative to living near a municipal solid waste landfill site in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

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Epidemiology and Biostatistics Unit, Institute Armand-Frappier, University of Quebec, Laval, Canada.


In this study, we sought to determine whether men who lived near the Miron Quarry municipal solid waste landfill site in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, were at higher risk for developing cancer than individuals who lived at more remote locations. Subjects were selected from a previously completed population-based, interview, cancer case-control study of men who lived in metropolitan Montreal. Thirteen sites of cancer (n = 2 928 subjects) and a population-based control group (n = 417) were analyzed. We used the exact street address at the time of diagnosis to classify subjects by geographic zones and distance from the site. We used unconditional logistic regression to estimate odds ratios (ORs) and associated 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for each site of cancer, adjusted for key covariates. In the exposure zone nearest to the site, elevated risks were found for cancers of the pancreas (adjusted OR = 1.4 [95% CI = 0.8, 2.6]); liver (OR = 1.8 [95% CI = 0.8, 4.3]); and prostate (OR = 1.5 [95% CI = 1.0, 2.1]). A high risk was also found for pancreatic cancer (OR = 1.7 [95% CI = 0.9, 3.5]) and the non-Hodgkin's lymphomas (OR = 1.5 [95% CI = 0.8, 2.6]) in a subexposure zone approximately downwind from the site. We used distance from the site as another exposure metric, and higher-than-expected risks were found for pancreatic cancer (OR for living within 1.25 km of the site [OR<1.25km] = 2.2 [95% CI = 1.0, 4.6]); liver cancer (OR<1.5km = 2.1 [95% CI = 0.8, 5.3]); kidney cancer (OR<2 km = 1.4 [95% CI = 0.9, 2.3]); and the non-Hodgkin's lymphomas (OR<1km = 2.0 [95% CI = 1.0, 4.0]). Data from this study and from a previous investigation at the same site suggest that men who lived near this landfill site may have been-and may continue to be-at excess risk of cancers of the liver, kidney, pancreas, and non-Hodgkin's lymphomas.

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