National Cancer Registry presented data in 2001 showing that for several cancer
types, the cancer incidence rates in the years 1984-1999 in the Haifa Bay Area
(HBA) were above the national average rates. Given that Haifa Bay Area is the
primary industrial region in Israel and experience heavy traffic volumes, the
public expressed concern whether this may be related to regional air pollution
levels. This study tests whether the spatial pattern of cancer incidence in HBA
can be associated with long term exposure of local residents to PM10 emitted by
nearby industry and traffic, and to SO2 which is a known marker of industrial
emissions. The approach involves developing distinct metrics of integrated
chronic exposure to respirable pollutants, mapping (using a GIS-based
framework) their spatial distribution, and comparing these to the spatial
pattern of the cancer incidence rates of three prevalent cancer-types (NHL,
lung and bladder) in HBA, which are known to be related to exposure to air
pollution in its general sense.
based maps of Standardized Incident Rates (SIR) and Adjusted Standardized Rates
(ASR) were produced, and non-randomness tests were preformed on them to filter
those that do show non-randomness in space and therefore have higher
probability of showing relationships with the spatial nonrandom exposure
indexes. Exposure indexes based on concentrations alone and on concentration
combined with other relevant factors were produced using high-resolution
concentration maps that were created using unsupervised kriging interpolations.
Our study showed no statistically significant relationships (using the
Pearson’s correlation coefficient) between excess in cancer morbidity and
metrics of exposure to either PM10 or to SO2.