Outdoor air pollution is a known lung carcinogen. However, little is known about the relationship between air pollution and other types of cancer. Given that many people are exposed to air pollution and the potential health impacts may be substantial, the goal of this research project is to investigate whether exposure to ambient air pollution (i.e. PM2.5, NO2, and ozone) is associated with increased risk of non-lung cancers, including leukemia, kidney, bladder, brain pancreatic, prostate, and female breast. Exposure data will be obtained form the Canadian Urban Environmental Health Research Consortium (CANUE) at the 6-digit postal code level, as a proxy for home neighbourhood in urban settings. Risk estimates between air pollution exposure metrics and the risk of the seven identified cancers and lung cancer will be calculated. In addition, we will identify differences in risk between men and women, as well as those living in urban, suburban, and rural areas. Our findings can be used to inform policies that aim to reduce the risk of cancer in Canada.

Dr. Cheryl Peters

Dr. Peters is drawing from the Canadian Census Health and Environment Cohorts (CanCHEC). CanCHEC comprises population-based, linked datasets that combine long-form census respondents with administrative health data and postal codes. It can be used to assess health outcomes in Canada’s population by different demographic and socioeconomic variables that are included in the linked databases, as well as by exposure data, which can be linked to CanCHEC using postal code.

Principal Investigator: Dr. Cheryl Peters

Co-Investigators: Dr. Kristian Larsen, Dr. Lauren Pinault, Dr. Daniel Rainham, Dr. Paul Villeneuve, Dr. Scott Weichenthal, Dr. Lin Yang

Funder: Canadian Institute of Health Research