People working in the petroleum industry or living near petroleum facilities are at increased risk of developing several different cancer types, according to a new report by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARCWHO), part of the UN World Health Organisation (WHO).
The findings add to increasing evidence of the health consequences of air pollution from petroleum extraction and refining.
The review identified an increased risk of mesothelioma, skin melanoma, multiple myeloma, and cancers of the prostate and urinary bladder, and conversely, decreased risk of cancers of the oesophagus, stomach, colon, rectum, and pancreas.
Offshore petroleum work was associated with an increased risk of lung cancer and leukaemia.
Living close to petroleum facilities was also associated with an increased risk of childhood leukaemia.
Scientists in the Environment and Lifestyle Epidemiology Branch of the agency carried out 41 cohort studies, 14 case–control studies.—TLTP