Cancer risks in populations living near landfill sites in Great Britain.

TitleCancer risks in populations living near landfill sites in Great Britain.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2002
AuthorsJarup L, Briggs D, de Hoogh C, Morris S, Hurt C, Lewin A, Maitland I, Richardson S, Wakefield J, Elliott P
JournalBr J Cancer
Date Published2002 Jun 5
KeywordsChild, Environmental Exposure, Environmental Pollution, Great Britain, Housing, Humans, Neoplasms, Refuse Disposal, Risk Factors

Previous studies have raised concerns about possible excess risks of bladder, brain and hepatobiliary cancers and leukaemias near landfill sites. Several cancers have been implicated, but no consistent pattern has emerged. We present a large nationwide analysis of selected cancers near landfill sites in Great Britain. The base population comprised people living within 2 km of 9565 (from a total of 19 196) landfill sites that were operational at some time from 1982 to 1997, with populations living more than 2 km from a landfill as reference. Risks of cancers at the above sites were computed with adjustment for age, sex, year of diagnosis, region and deprivation. National post-coded registers provided a total of 341 856 640 person-years for the adult cancer analyses and 113 631 443 person-years for childhood leukaemia. There were 89 786 cases of bladder cancer, 36 802 cases of brain cancer, 21 773 cases of hepatobiliary cancer, 37 812 cases of adult leukaemia and 3973 cases of childhood leukaemia. In spite of the very large scale of this national study, we found no excess risks of cancers of the bladder and brain, hepatobiliary cancer or leukaemia, in populations living within 2 km of landfill sites. The results were similar if the analysis were restricted to landfill sites licensed to carry special (hazardous) waste. Our results do not support suggestions of excess risks of cancer associated with landfill sites reported in other studies.

Alternate JournalBr. J. Cancer
PubMed ID12087458