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Methylated PAHs from Household Coal Use and Risk of Lung Cancer Among Never-Smoking Women in Xuanwei and Fuyuan, China

26 Pages Posted: 10 Nov 2018

See all articles by Roel C.H. Vermeulen

Roel C.H. Vermeulen

Utrecht University - Institute for Risk Assessment Sciences (IRAS)

George S. Downward

Utrecht University

Jinming Zhang

Government of the United States of America - National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Wei Hu

Government of the United States of America - Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics

Lützen Portengen

Utrecht University

Bryan A. Bassig

Government of the United States of America - National Institutes of Health (NIH)

S. Katharine Hammond

University of California, Berkeley

Jason Y.Y. Wong

Government of the United States of America - National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Jihua Li

Qujing Center for Diseases Control and Prevention

Boris Reiss

University of Arizona

Jun He

Qujing Center for Diseases Control and Prevention

Linwei Tian

The University of Hong Kong - School of Public Health

Kaiyun Yang

Kunming Medical University

Wei Jie Seow

National University of Singapore (NUS)

Jun Xu

The University of Hong Kong

Kim Anderson

Oklahoma State University - Stillwater - Department of Agricultural Economics

Bu-Tian Ji

Government of the United States of America - Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics

Debra Silverman

Government of the United States of America - National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Stephen Chanock

Government of the United States of America - National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Yunchao Huang

Kunming Medical University

Nathaniel Rothman

Government of the United States of America - Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics

Qing Lan

Government of the United States of America - Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics

More...

Abstract

Background: Lung cancer rates for never-smoking women in Xuanwei and Fuyuan, China are among the highest in the world and have been attributed to use of “smoky” (bituminous) coal. However, the key carcinogenic components of coal that drive lung cancer risk here have not been identified.

Methods: We conducted a population-based case-control study of lung cancer among 1015 never smoking female cases and 485 comparable controls and linked cancer risk through a multipollutant model to 43 household air pollution (HAP) chemicals and particulates measured in a comprehensive exposure study conducted in the same population. Exposures assessed included methylated polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), which have never been directly evaluated in an epidemiologic study of any cancer.

Findings: The strongest detected risk of lung cancer was for 5-methylchrysene, a mutagenic and carcinogenic PAH. In contrast, neither benzo(a)pyrene, a standard marker of PAH exposure used in risk assessment, nor fine particulate matter (PM2.5), commonly used to evaluate health outcomes from outdoor air pollution, were associated with risk of lung cancer in multipollutant models.

Interpretation: This is the first study to comprehensively evaluate lung cancer risk from HAP constituents estimated over the entire lifecourse. Given the global ubiquity of coal use domestically for indoor cooking and heating and commercially for electric power generation, our study suggests that more extensive monitoring of coal combustion products including methylated PAHs may be warranted to more accurately assess health risks and develop prevention strategies from this exposure.

Funding Statement: Funding provided by the intramural research program of the National Cancer Institute.

Declaration of Interests: Authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.

Ethical Approval Statement: The study protocol was approved by the institutional review boards of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and China National Environmental Monitoring Center.

Keywords: methylated PAHs, coal, lung cancer, never-smoking women

Suggested Citation

Vermeulen, Roel C.H. and Downward, George S. and Zhang, Jinming and Hu, Wei and Portengen, Lützen and Bassig, Bryan A. and Hammond, S. Katharine and Wong, Jason Y.Y. and Li, Jihua and Reiss, Boris and He, Jun and Tian, Linwei and Yang, Kaiyun and Seow, Wei Jie and Xu, Jun and Anderson, Kim and Ji, Bu-Tian and Silverman, Debra and Chanock, Stephen and Huang, Yunchao and Rothman, Nathaniel and Lan, Qing, Methylated PAHs from Household Coal Use and Risk of Lung Cancer Among Never-Smoking Women in Xuanwei and Fuyuan, China (June 11, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3280665 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3280665

Roel C.H. Vermeulen (Contact Author)

Utrecht University - Institute for Risk Assessment Sciences (IRAS) ( email )

PO Box 80178
Utrecht, 3508 TD
Netherlands

George S. Downward

Utrecht University

Vredenburg 138
Utrecht, 3511 BG
Netherlands

Jinming Zhang

Government of the United States of America - National Institutes of Health (NIH)

9000 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, MD 20892
United States

Wei Hu

Government of the United States of America - Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics

9609 Medical Center Drive
Rockville, MD 20850
United States

Lützen Portengen

Utrecht University

Vredenburg 138
Utrecht, 3511 BG
Netherlands

Bryan A. Bassig

Government of the United States of America - National Institutes of Health (NIH)

9000 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, MD 20892
United States

S. Katharine Hammond

University of California, Berkeley

310 Barrows Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720
United States

Jason Y.Y. Wong

Government of the United States of America - National Institutes of Health (NIH)

9000 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, MD 20892
United States

Jihua Li

Qujing Center for Diseases Control and Prevention

Yunnan
China

Boris Reiss

University of Arizona

Department of History
Tucson, AZ 85721
United States

Jun He

Qujing Center for Diseases Control and Prevention

Yunnan
China

Linwei Tian

The University of Hong Kong - School of Public Health ( email )

Hong Kong
China

Kaiyun Yang

Kunming Medical University

China

Wei Jie Seow

National University of Singapore (NUS)

1E Kent Ridge Road
NUHS Tower Block Level 7
Singapore, 119228
Singapore

Jun Xu

The University of Hong Kong

Pokfulam Road
Hong Kong, Pokfulam HK
China

Kim Anderson

Oklahoma State University - Stillwater - Department of Agricultural Economics ( email )

Stillwater, OK 74078-6026
United States

Bu-Tian Ji

Government of the United States of America - Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics

9609 Medical Center Drive
Rockville, MD 20850
United States

Debra Silverman

Government of the United States of America - National Institutes of Health (NIH)

9000 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, MD 20892
United States

Stephen Chanock

Government of the United States of America - National Institutes of Health (NIH)

9000 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, MD 20892
United States

Yunchao Huang

Kunming Medical University

China

Nathaniel Rothman

Government of the United States of America - Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics

9609 Medical Center Drive
Rockville, MD 20850
United States

Qing Lan

Government of the United States of America - Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics

9609 Medical Center Drive
Rockville, MD 20850
United States

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