Contribution of organic particulates to respiratory cancer.

This paper presents some of the issues that remain to be resolved in order to assess the risk of cancer related to exposure to organic particulates. Most reviews of the effects of organic particulates from the outdoor environment on the risk of lung cancer show that this source seems to play a minor role. However, as fuel use and chemical composition of air pollutants change, the contribution of outdoor pollution as a cause of cancer may also change. Indoor air pollution is a more important source of exposure to organic particulates than is outdoor exposure. Although there is clear evidence that in occupational settings organic particulates cause human cancer, there has been almost no study of exposure to these types of particulates within indoor settings. Previous research has focused on cigarette smoke as the major indoor pollutant, but more specific characterization of contaminants in both the workplace and the home is required. The health effects of the higher levels of some of these contaminants in the workplace should be evaluated and the results extrapolated to populations exposed to lower levels in the home. Extensive research is needed to characterize organic particulate mixtures appropriately and test them for carcinogenicity. Studies on the health risks of nitropolynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons and polychlorinated dibenzodioxins and dibenzofurans are reviewed, but their contribution to the overall burden of respiratory cancer in humans cannot be estimated at this time. Characterization of mixtures, assessment of exposures, and linkage of exposures to health effects are the objectives of the recommendations proposed for further research.
AuthorsG Matanoski, L Fishbein, C Redmond, H Rosenkranz, L Wallace
JournalEnvironmental health perspectives (Environ Health Perspect) Vol. 70 Pg. 37-49 (Dec 1986) ISSN: 0091-6765 [Print] United States
PMID3830112 (Publication Type: Journal Article)
Chemical References
  • Air Pollutants
  • Air Pollutants, Occupational
  • Polycyclic Compounds
  • Air Pollutants
  • Air Pollutants, Occupational
  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Lung Neoplasms (etiology)
  • Microclimate
  • Polycyclic Compounds
  • Respiratory Tract Neoplasms (etiology)
  • Risk
  • Smoking
  • United States

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