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J Toxicol Environ Health A. 2011;74(18):1215-24. doi: 10.1080/15287394.2011.590100.

Traffic air pollution and risk of death from gastric cancer in Taiwan: petrol station density as an indicator of air pollutant exposure.

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Department of Pharmacology, College of Health Sciences, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.


To investigate the relationship between air pollution and risk of death attributed to gastric cancer, a matched cancer case-control study was conducted using deaths that occurred in Taiwan from 2004 through 2008. Data for all eligible gastric cancer deaths were obtained and compared to a control group consisting of individuals who died from causes other than neoplasms and diseases that were associated with gastrointestinal (GIT) disorders. The controls were pair-matched to the cancer cases by gender, year of birth, and year of death. Each matched control was randomly selected from the set of possible controls for each cancer case. Data for the number of petrol stations in study municipalities were collected from two major petroleum supply companies. The petrol station density (per square kilometer) (PSD) for study municipalities was used as an indicator of a subject's exposure to benzene and other hydrocarbons present in ambient evaporative losses of petrol or to air emissions from motor vehicles. The exposed individuals were subdivided into three categories (≤25th percentile; 25th-75th percentile; >75th percentile) according to PSD in the residential municipality. Results showed that individuals who resided in municipalities with the highest PSD were at an increased risk of death attributed to gastric cancer compared to those subjects living in municipalities with the lowest PSD. The findings of this study warrant further investigation of the role of traffic air pollution exposure in the etiology of gastric cancer.

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