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Ambient dioxin exposure from industrial sources, excluding exposures from occupations and accidental releases/contamination, may be associated with risk of developing hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The objective of this study was to examine the association between county-level ambient dioxin air emissions from industrial sources and HCC risk in the US. We obtained information on 90,359 incident HCC cases diagnosed between 2000 and 2016 from population-based cancer registries across the US in the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) database. Dioxin emissions from 1987 to 2007 from a nationwide spatial database of historical dioxin-emitting facilities were linked to the SEER county of residence at diagnosis using a geographic information system (GIS). Poisson regression with robust variance estimation was used to calculate incidence rate ratios (IRRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for the association between county-level dioxin emissions and HCC rates adjusting for individual-level age at diagnosis, sex, race/ethnicity, year of diagnosis, SEER registry, and county-level information on health conditions, lifestyle factors, and socioeconomic status. There was no association between dioxin emissions based on the number of dioxin-emitting facilities within a county or average annual emissions within a county and HCC risk. In analyses by facility type, there were positive associations between county-level dioxin emissions from coal-fired power plants (adjusted IRR 1.09, 95% CI 1.01-1.17), but not with the number of these facilities. Similarly, positive associations for industrial boilers and sewage sludge incinerators were evident, but not consistent across both exposure metrics. Future research should incorporate individual-level data to further explore the findings suggested by these ecologic analyses. Copyright © 2021. Published by Elsevier Inc.


Trang VoPham, Kimberly A Bertrand, Jared A Fisher, Mary H Ward, Francine Laden, Rena R Jones. Emissions of dioxins and dioxin-like compounds and incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma in the United States. Environmental research. 2022 Mar;204(Pt D):112386

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PMID: 34800530

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