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Environ Res. 1998 Jul;78(1):1-6.

Chlorination of drinking water and cancer mortality in Taiwan.

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School of Public Health, Kaohsiung Medical College, Taiwan.


Chlorination has been the major strategy for disinfection of drinking water in Taiwan. An ecologic epidemiological study design was used to examine whether chlorination of drinking water was associated with cancer risks. A "chlorinating municipality" (CHM) was defined as one in which more than 90% of the municipality population was served by the chlorinated water while an "nonchlorinating municipality" (NCHM) was one in which less than 5% of the municipality population was served by chlorinated water. Age-adjusted mortality rates for cancer during 1982-1991 among the 14 CHMs were compared to rates among the 14 matched NCHMs with similar urbanization level and sociodemographic characteristics. The results of this study suggest a positive association between consumption of chlorinating drinking water and cancer of the rectum, lung, bladder, and kidney. Although these findings must be interpreted with caution because of limitations in the ecological study design, their public health significance should not be disregarded because chlorination of water is so widely practiced in Taiwan.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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