Tuesday July 23, 2019

Exposure To Air Pollution Linked To Breast cancer: Study

Government can plan for new designs for industrial and commercial facilities to cut down on the occupational exposures.

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Air pollution shortens life by more than one year in India. Wikimedia Commons

Women working near busy roads are at high risk of developing breast cancer, due to traffic-related air pollution, researchers have warned.

The team, from University of Stirling in Scotland, analysed the case of a woman who developed breast cancer after spending 20 years working as a border guard at the busiest commercial border crossing in North America.

The woman was one of, at least, five other border guards who developed breast cancer within 30 months of each other and, at another nearby crossing, a cluster of seven other cases was noted.

Pollution, pollutants, India, air pollution, WHO, diwali
India’s Rashtrapati Bhawan, or the Presidential Palace is partly visible due to smog as traffic plies on Rajapth, the ceremonial boulevard in New Delhi. VOA

According to Michael Gilbertson, the findings “infer a causal relationship” between breast cancer and very high exposures to traffic-related air pollution containing mammary carcinogens. A link between nightshift work and cancer was also identified.

“This new research indicates the role of traffic-related air pollution in contributing to the increasing incidence of breast cancer in the general population,” Gilbertson said.

The group of women all developed a cancer believed to have been caused by exhaust fumes in what researchers have branded a ‘new occupational disease’.

There is a one in 10,000 chance the cases were a coincidence, the study published in the journal New Solutions said, because the cancers were all so similar and close together.

air pollution, breast cancer
Breast cancer cell, Wikimedia Commons

A review of previous research confirmed that BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes — which try to stop tumours growing — can be “silenced” by exposures to dioxins and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons – both found in exhaust fumes.

BRCA2 gets rapidly degraded in the presence of aldehydes – also components of exhaust fumes.

Also Read: Chemotherapy May Not Be Needed To Treat Breast Cancer: Study

“There is much more research to be undertaken,” Gilbertson said. “But we now have plausible mechanisms for inferring how the BRCA1/2 tumour suppressors in this highly-exposed border guard became dysfunctional and likely contributed to the ongoing epidemic of sporadic, early onset, premenopausal breast cancer among her colleagues.

“With this new knowledge, industry and government can plan for new designs for industrial and commercial facilities to cut down on the occupational exposures to traffic-related air pollution,” Gilbertson said. (IANS)

Next Story

Nine in 10 Indian Women Hold Themselves Back from Doing or Saying Something: Survey

It added that just five out of every 10 women are able to ask for the salary they think they deserve

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Indian, Women, Survey
The survey also said that among the 85 per cent women who say that more and more women are starting businesses, just 58 per cent are able to go ahead with this. Pixabay

While most young Indian women feel that women can pursue careers that were not previously available to them, only half are actually able to pursue a career of their choice, a new survey has revealed.

The research study by skincare brand Ponds, conducted on 1,000 women aged between 18 and 35 and living across India’s metro areas, showed the glaring gap between perception and practice for women.

The survey also said that among the 85 per cent women who say that more and more women are starting businesses, just 58 per cent are able to go ahead with this.

Indian, Women, Survey
While most young Indian women feel that women can pursue careers that were not previously available to them, only half are actually able to pursue a career of their choice. Pixabay

It added that just five out of every 10 women are able to ask for the salary they think they deserve.

Also Read- Xiaomi Becomes Youngest Company on Fortune Global 500 List for 2019

“Almost 9 in 10 (89 per cent) feel that women today can openly speak their mind at work and in meetings; however, only about six in 10 (62 per cent) end up doing so themselves.” (IANS)