Lung cancer mortality and residential proximity to industry

Environ Health Perspect. 1982 Nov;45:157-64. doi: 10.1289/ehp.8245157.


A potential causal relationship has been suggested by other studies between air pollution and lung cancer. To attempt to define the risk of lung cancer associated with residential proximity to industry by type in Louisiana, lung cancer deaths occurring between 1960 and 1975 in residents of 20 parishes were compared to controls matched on age, sex, year of death and parish of residence. The comparisons were limited to cases (N = 1418) and controls (N = 1429) with known length of exposure to and residing within 0.99 mile (exposed and 1.0 to 3.0 miles (unexposed) radius of an industry type. Of the 13 industry types evaluated, the petroleum and chemical industries showed the highest consistent elevations in risk associated with closeness of residence to industry, whereas possible risks shown for food, grain, canning, and paper industries are less defined. For the petroleum industry, the risk was demonstrated in the group with 10 or more years of residential exposure to the industry in question. For the chemical industry, the residential risk was found in people employed in low risk occupations, who were exposed to large individual industries and was independent of length of exposure as determined for less or more than ten years, (RR = 4.5). The results suggest that residential proximity to petrochemical industries may make a contribution to the lung cancer mortality in Louisiana.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Chemical Industry
  • Environmental Pollutants / poisoning*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Louisiana
  • Lung Neoplasms / etiology
  • Lung Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Petroleum
  • Time Factors


  • Environmental Pollutants
  • Petroleum