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ISRN Oncology
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 614198, 10 pages
Research Article

Risk of Cancer Mortality in Spanish Towns Lying in the Vicinity of Pollutant Industries

1Department of Environmental Epidemiology and Cancer, National Centre for Epidemiology, Carlos III Institute of Health, Avenida Monforte de Lemos, 5, 28029 Madrid, Spain
2CIBER en Epidemiología y Salud Pública (CIBERESP), 08003 Madrid, Spain
3Division of Medicine, Lancaster University, Lancaster LA1 4YB, UK

Received 7 May 2012; Accepted 7 August 2012

Academic Editors: R.-J. Bensadoun and J. M. Zidan

Copyright © 2012 Rebeca Ramis et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Spatial aggregation of different industrial facilities leads to simultaneous release of pollutant emissions. Our objective is to study cancer mortality risk associated with residence in the vicinity of pollutant factories. We used data on industries for year 2007 (3458 facilities). For the 8,098 Spanish towns, we defined a factor with 4 levels based on the number of factories in a radius of 2.5 km from the centroid of each town (industrial factor). We also used data of land cover use to approximate the percentage of municipal land used for industrial activities in each Spanish town (land-used variable). For both variables we fitted Poisson models with random terms to account for spatial variation. We estimated risk trends related with increasing number of factories or percentage of land used for industrial activities. We studied 33 cancer causes. For the industrial factor, 11 causes showed trend associated with increasing factor level. For the land use variable, 8 causes showed statistically significant risks. Almost all tumours related to the digestive system and the respiratory system showed increased risks. Thus mortality by these tumours could be associated to residence in towns nearby industrial areas with positive trend linked to increasing levels of industrial activity.