Increased Cancer Incidence in the Local Population Around Metal-Contaminated Glassworks Sites

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The aim of this study was to examine mortality causes and cancer incidence in a population cohort that have resided in close proximity to highly metal-contaminated sources, characterized by contamination of, in particular, arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd), and lead (Pb).


Data from Swedish registers were used to calculate standardized mortality and cancer incidence ratios. An attempt to relate cancer incidence to metal contamination levels was made.


Significantly elevated cancer incidences were observed for overall malignant cancers in both genders, cancer in the digestive system, including colon, rectum, and pancreas, and cancers in prostate among men. Dose–response relationships between Cd and Pb levels in soil and cancer risks were found.


Cancer observations made, together with previous studies of metal uptake in local vegetables, may imply that exposure to local residents have occurred primarily via oral intake of locally produced foodstuffs.

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