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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

Washington Study Examines Link between Breast Cancer and Air Pollution

Researchers from the University of Washington Schools of Public Health and Nursing found no significant associations between air pollution and breast cancer risk overall in a new study. But they did observe an increased risk of hormone receptor-positive breast cancer associated with higher exposure to nitrogen dioxide (NO2), a marker for traffic-related air pollution.

The study was published in the December issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention. Researchers used data from more than 47,000 women in the NIH-funded Sisters Study and also estimated air pollution concentration outside of residences.

Researchers reported no association between invasive breast cancer overall and ambient fine-particulate matter (PM2.5 and PM10) or NO2. However, NO2 was associated with a 1.10-fold increased risk of ER+/PR+ breast cancer.

Researchers said the results need to be replicated before firm conclusions can be drawn about hormone receptor-positive breast cancer and traffic-related air pollution. Collaborating institutions included the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, the University of Bergen, Norway, and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.