Exposure to high levels of ambient air particulates < 2.5 microns in diameter (PM2.5) in the Fairbanks North Star Borough (FNSB) and the resulting impact on cancer incidence is the focus of this study. Climate, geography, and culture influence PM2.5 levels, particularly during the long cold season. While this study considers lung cancer incidences from PM2.5 exposure, the primary focus of the study is the incidences of all other types of cancers from exposure to PM2.5, because of the limited research done on this topic. This quantitative, retrospective, cohort study considered the incidences of new cancer diagnoses in the population during a 10-year period (January 1, 2008–December 31, 2017). The 2 FNSB Zip Codes, designated “hot spots,” frequently see spikes in PM2.5 during the long cold season. These areas are densely populated and contain the EPA-regulated air quality monitors. Cancer diagnoses in the hot spot Zip Codes were compared to cancer diagnoses in outlying Zip Codes (non-hot spots) that experience less PM2.5 and are more consistently within the EPA air quality guidelines. EPA monitors are not yet located in the non-hot spots. Cancer patient data were obtained from the Fairbanks Memorial Hospital Cancer Center. The results demonstrated that a strong association was found between PM2.5 exposure and non-lung cancers (OR = 1.37; RR = 1.36; p < 0.001); and between PM2.5 exposure and lung cancer (OR = 1.87; RR = 1.88; p < 0.001). These findings may be used to promote an increased awareness among FNSB residents of the potential impact on cancer diagnoses from inhaling high levels of PM2.5, so residents may change their behavior in favor of alternatives to biomass burning to improve air quality.
|Commitee:||Naser, Diana, Tschida, Patrick|
|School Location:||United States -- Minnesota|
|Source:||DAI-B 82/1(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Keywords:||Cancer, Cold season, PM2.5, Quantitative, Retrospective, Woodsmoke, Alaska|
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