"CDC: Higher Cancer Risk for Kids Living Near Busy Roads"

"CDC review of seven studies involving over 8,000 children suggests a link between childhood leukemia and exposure to high levels of auto exhaust. Direct cause-effect needs more study, researchers say."

"Young children who are exposed to high levels of vehicle exhaust — such as what they'd encounter living near busy roads in urban areas — appear to have a greater risk of childhood leukemia, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention review of seven previous studies.

The CDC's systematic review, published in the April issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, says that in the USA an estimated 30%-45% of people in large urban areas live near major roads, 'suggesting increased exposure to traffic-related air pollution and risk of adverse health outcomes.'

The article says the studies reviewed by the CDC suggest 'that childhood leukemia is associated with residential traffic exposure during the postnatal period, but not during the prenatal period.'

The review found that children diagnosed with leukemia were '50% more likely to live near busy roads than children without leukemia,' said Vickie Boothe, a CDC health scientist and lead author of the Journal article. 'While the study found a link, it does not prove that living near a busy road causes leukemia.'"

Larry Copeland reports for USA TODAY March 20, 2014.

Friday, March 21, 2014