Thursday November 21, 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, asia
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)

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Vaping Can Lead to Chronic Disease in Lungs known as “Popcorn Injury”

This novel disease pattern of airway injury associated with vaping leading to chronic obstruction appears to be distinct from the alveolar injury

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Vaping
Novel disease pattern of airway injury associated with Vaping leading to chronic obstruction appears to be distinct from the alveolar injury characterizing the EVALI . Pixabay

In yet another serious health alert on e-cigarette use, researchers have documented first-ever case of a new form of damage from Vaping products in a youth which is similar to “popcorn lung,” a condition seen in workers exposed to food flavouring fumes in microwave popcorn factories.

If inhaled, the chemical called diacetyl causes bronchiolitis, which is characterized by the small airways of the lungs becoming inflamed and obstructed.

The 17-year-old patient who narrowly avoided the need for a double lung transplant suffered with this new type of vaping-related injury.

A team from Lawson Health Research Institute in London, Ontario, and University Health Network (UHN) in Toronto described the life-threatening bronchiolitis in a previously healthy 17-year-old male who initially presented for care after a week of persistent and intractable cough and was eventually hospitalized and put on life support.

After ruling out other causes, the team suspected flavoured e-liquids as the cause. The youth’s family reported that he vaped daily using a variety of flavoured cartridges and used tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) regularly. THC is the chemical responsible for most of marijuana’s psychological effects.

“This novel disease pattern of airway injury associated with vaping leading to chronic obstruction appears to be distinct from the alveolar injury characterizing the EVALI (e-cigarette or vaping product use-associated lung injury) have been described cases recently reported in the US, and the seven confirmed or probable cases in Canada, highlighting the need for further research and regulation of e-cigarettes,” elaborated lead author Dr Karen Bosma, Associate Scientist at Lawson.

The case study, published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal), provides detailed medical information on the extent and type of injury as well as treatment.

“This case of life-threatening acute bronchiolitis posed a diagnostic and therapeutic challenge,” the authors wrote.

Vaping
In yet another serious health alert on e-cigarette use, researchers have documented first-ever case of a new form of damage from Vaping products in a youth which is similar to “popcorn lung,” a condition seen in workers exposed to food flavouring fumes in microwave popcorn factories. Pixabay

“Given the patient’s intense vaping exposure to flavoured e-liquid and negative workup for other causes of bronchiolitis, we suspected that bronchiolitis obliterans might have been developing in this patient as in microwave popcorn factory workers exposed to occupational inhalation of diacetyl.”

The youth narrowly avoided the need for a double lung transplant, but now has evidence of chronic damage to his airways.

ALSO READ: #GonnaTellMyKids Goes Trending on Twitter

He is still recovering from his lengthy stay in the intensive care unit, and is abstaining from e-cigarettes, marijuana and tobacco.

“This case may represent the first direct evidence of the lung disease most expected to result from e-cigarette use,” said Dr Matthew Stanbrook, Deputy Editor, CMAJ. (IANS)