Screening-level assessment of cancer risk associated with ambient air exposure in Aamjiwnaang First Nation

Int J Environ Health Res. 2020 Oct 7;1-12. doi: 10.1080/09603123.2020.1827226. Online ahead of print.


The manuscript reports findings from a screening-level assessment of cancer risk from outdoor air in Aamjiwnaang First Nation. Ambient air pollution can contribute to cardiovascular/respiratory diseases, and certain types of cancer. Certain communities may be at higher risk to the negative health impacts due to their geographical proximity to pollution sources. Outdoor air concentrations were mapped and the Lifetime Excess Cancer Risks (LECR) associated with long-term exposure to known carcinogens were estimated. LECR results for both benzene and 1,3-butadiene were above one per million. The LECR for benzene was 6.4 per million when the Health Canada slope factor was applied and 12.0 when using the US EPA. For 1,3-butadiene the LECR estimate was 8.8 per million. This work provides a better understanding of environmental exposures and potential associated cancer risks for residents in the Aamjiwnaang community and highlights the need for further air monitoring and a more detailed risk assessment.

Keywords: Cancer; Indigenous health; carcinogens; outdoor air.