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'Routine exposure to lead increases cancer risk'

studying the harmful effects of exposure to lead have found that people who are routinely

india Updated: Sep 04, 2006 13:14 IST

Boffins studying the harmful effects of exposure to lead have found that people who are routinely exposed to it are 50 per cent more likely to die of brain cancer.

The study, based on information from the US Census Bureau and the National Death Index, was conducted by researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center, and provides further evidence that widespread environmental risk factors such as lead must be explored.

The study computed the risk estimates for lead exposure and brain cancer from a census sample of 317,968 people who reported their occupations between 1979 and 1981.

Edwin van Wijngaarden, Ph.D, the study’s author said followed the cancer rates of 318,000 people for nine years. He found 119 brain cancer deaths.

He found that the death rate among people with jobs that potentially exposed them to lead was 50 percent higher than unexposed people, and the number of deaths was larger than in many previous studies.

The study is published in the Septtember 1 issue of the International Journal of Cancer.