Studying Indoor Air Pollution's Contribution to Cancer Mortality

Studying Indoor Air Pollution's Contribution to Cancer Mortality

Globally, nearly 3 billion people rely on solid fuels (e.g., wood, coal, crop waste, and dung) for heating and cooking. The resulting indoor pollutants are a potential risk factor for lung cancer. The known risk factors for lung cancer—environmental tobacco smoke, outdoor air pollution, and family history—do not fully account for lung cancer disease burden. It is therefore necessary to assess the contribution posed by household air pollution (HAP) from the burning of solid fuels such as wood and dung for heating and cooking. The National Institutes of Health has awarded H. Dean Hosgood, Ph.D., a three-year, $1.1 million grant to study the cancer mortality attributed to HAP.

Dr. Hosgood formed a global consortium of prospective cohort studies—a pooled resource that includes more than 800,000 subjects—to quantify the relative risk that HAP specifically contributes to mortality. This resource will allow for the robust evaluation of biomass burning in relation to mortality from lung cancer, as well as anatomical sites other than the lung. Findings from this study may help to reduce the global burden of HAP-associated disease.

Dr. Hosgood is associate professor of epidemiology & population health, as well as director of Global Environmental Health for the Global Health Center at Einstein. He is also associate director of population and clinical sciences in the Clinical Research Training Program at Einstein. (1 U01 CA242740-01A1)