Carcinogens in the News

The CAREX Canada team offers two regular newsletters: the biannual e-Bulletin summarizing information on upcoming webinars, new publications, and updates to estimates and tools; and the monthly Carcinogens in the News, a digest of media articles, government reports, and academic literature related to the carcinogens we’ve classified as important for surveillance in Canada. Sign up for one of these newsletters, or both, below.

Air pollution ‘pandemic’ shortens lives by 3 years: study

France 24 – Researchers that compared global risk factors found that a ‘pandemic’ of air pollution shortens lives worldwide by nearly three years on average, and causes 8.8 million premature deaths annually. Eliminating the toxic cocktail of molecules and lung-clogging particles cast off by burning oil, gas and coal would restore a full year of life expectancy, they reported in the journal Cardiovascular Research.
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Projected estimates of cancer in Canada in 2020

CMAJ – This study provides an overview of the expected incidence and mortality of cancer in Canada in 2020 in follow-up to the Canadian Cancer Statistics 2019 report. Key findings of the article are summarized in the Canadian Cancer Society’s infographic, and include that an estimated 225,800 Canadians will be diagnosed with cancer in 2020, and 83,300 will die from it. Lung cancer is expected to be the leading cause of cancer death, accounting for 25.5% of all cancer deaths in Canada.
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Here’s what you need to know about radon in your home

CTV News – A national study has found around half the homes in Regina, and around one-third of the homes in Saskatchewan, exceed Health Canada’s maximum acceptable level of radon. Evict Radon is a non-profit group of researchers whose latest research was published in Scientific Reports. Their findings show Saskatchewan as a problem area, and they are now trying to educate the public about the issue and are encouraging public participation in their research.
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Global and regional burden of cancer in 2016 arising from occupational exposure to selected carcinogens: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2016

Occupational and Environmental Medicine – This study provides a detailed analysis of the global and regional burden of cancer due to occupational carcinogens from the Global Burden of Disease 2016 study. The burden of cancer due to 14 International Agency for Research on Cancer Group 1 occupational carcinogens (including asbestos, silica, and secondhand smoke) was estimated using the population attributable fraction, based on past population exposure prevalence and relative risks from the literature. The results were used to calculate attributable deaths and disability-adjusted life years (DALYs).
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World Cancer Report: Cancer Research for Cancer Prevention

IARC – Starting with the latest trends in cancer incidence and mortality worldwide, this publication provides wide-ranging insights into cancer prevention based on the known causes of cancer, factors that determine how cancer develops, and the behaviour of different tumour types, and presents a broad scope of interventions to reduce the cancer burden from a global perspective, including addressing inequalities that affect cancer prevention.
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Occupation as a predictor of prostate cancer screening behaviour in Canada

Journal of Medical Screening – Researchers identified variations in prostate cancer screening by occupation among men in Montreal, Canada. They found substantial disparities in prostate cancer screening by occupation, and that men in occupations where carcinogen exposures are more common are less likely to participate in prostate screening activities. The study authors note that this could be an important source of bias and should be accounted for in occupational studies of prostate cancer.
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Quebec City to invest $50M over 10 years to replace lead pipes

CBC News – Quebec City will be replacing approximately 8,000 intake pipes in its municipal water system over the next decade, to get rid of lead pipes that were used in the construction of commercial and residential buildings. Quebec City estimates there are around 80,000 households on its territory that were built before 1980, when the province’s building regulations banned the use of lead pipes.
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EPA looks at 3D printing emissions

EHS Today – Working in cooperation with the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is studying possible harmful emissions that are released during the 3D printing process. The most concerning of the emissions are volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Although there have been many studies on the effects of VOCs produced by 3D printing, none of the research considered how these emissions change when certain additives are introduced to the 3D printing filament.
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New asbestos video offers primer on hidden killer

Ontario Ministry of Labour, Training and Skills Development – A new video from the Ontario Ministry of Labour, Training & Skills Development outlines the risks posed by asbestos as well as the roles and responsibilities of workers, employers and site owners to mitigate these risks and ensure worker safety.
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Largest study yet offers no clear talc link to ovarian cancer

CBC News – U.S. researchers who conducted the largest study yet into whether applying powder to the genitals increases a woman’s risk of ovarian cancer were unable to definitively put to rest the issue that has prompted thousands of lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson and other companies. Overall, the study did not find a significantly increased risk of ovarian cancer, but there appeared to be a heightened risk among certain women who used the products.
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Deciphering the code between air pollution and disease: The effect of particulate matter on cancer hallmarks

International Journal of Molecular Sciences – In this review, researchers summarize and discuss the evidence regarding the effect of particulate matter (PM) and its impact in carcinogenesis, considering the “hallmarks of cancer” including sustained proliferative signaling, evasion of growth suppression, resistance to cell death, acquisition of replicative immortality, angiogenesis induction, and activation of invasion and metastasis. They found that exposure to particulate matter induces multiple hallmarks of cancer seen during tumor development.
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Stanford water expert discusses wildfire’s threat to water quality

Stanford News – When fires jump from forests and grasslands to urban areas, they incinerate household and industrial items such as computers and cars, leaving behind a stew of chemicals and heavy metals. Rain can wash this into streams, rivers and municipal water treatment systems unprepared to deal with the toxic deluge. Heavy sediment loads from wildfire-related erosion can also clog water systems and strain treatment requirements.
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Evidence-based occupational health and safety interventions: a comprehensive overview of reviews

Occupational and Environmental Medicine – The aim of this overview of reviews is to provide a comprehensive basis to inform evidence-based decision-making about interventions in the field of OHS. According to the study authors, this is the first comprehensive overview of behavioural, relational and mixed interventions and their effectiveness in preventing occupational injuries and diseases. It provides policymakers with an important basis for making evidence-based decisions on interventions in this field.
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The price of recycling old laptops: Toxic fumes in Thailand’s lungs

New York Times – The e-waste industry is booming in Southeast Asia, and despite a ban on imports, Thailand is a center of the business. In addition to the danger posed to workers, if some types of electronic waste aren’t incinerated at a high enough temperature, dioxins, which can cause cancer and developmental problems, infiltrate the food supply. Without proper safeguarding, toxic heavy metals can also seep into the soil and groundwater.
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Short-term home radon tests faulty 99% of the time, Calgary study finds

CBC News – Short-term radon test kits are not an effective way to find out if your home has unsafe levels of the dangerous gas, a new study says. Researchers from the University of Calgary placed two test kits — a five-day and 90-day — in the same homes. Tests were done during the summer and winter months. The results showed that the short-term kits were imprecise up to 99% of the time when compared to a long-term test.
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The CAREX Canada team offers two regular newsletters: the biannual e-Bulletin summarizing information on upcoming webinars, new publications, and updates to estimates and tools; and the monthly Carcinogens in the News, a digest of media articles, government reports, and academic literature related to the carcinogens we’ve classified as important for surveillance in Canada. Sign up for one or both of these newsletters below.

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