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Intermittent sun exposure is the major environmental risk factor for cutaneous melanoma (CM). Cumulative sun exposure and other environmental agents, such as environmental arsenic exposure, have not shown consistent associations. Ambient ultraviolet radiation (UVR) was used to measure individual total sun exposure as this is thought to be less prone to misclassification and recall bias. Data were analyzed from 1096 CM cases and 1033 controls in the Iowa Study of Skin Cancer and Its Causes, a population-based, case-control study. Self-reported residential histories were linked to satellite-derived ambient UVR, spatially derived environmental soil arsenic concentration, and drinking water arsenic concentrations. In men and women, ambient UVR during childhood and adolescence was not associated with CM but was positively associated during adulthood. Lifetime ambient UVR was positively associated with CM in men (OR for highest vs. lowest quartile: 6.09, 95% confidence interval (CI) 2.21-16.8), but this association was not as strong among women (OR for highest vs. lowest quartile: 2.15, 95% CI 0.84-5.54). No association was detected for environmental soil or drinking water arsenic concentrations and CM. Our findings suggest that lifetime and adulthood sun exposures may be important risk factors for CM.


Marvin E Langston, Heidi E Brown, Charles F Lynch, Denise J Roe, Leslie K Dennis. Ambient UVR and Environmental Arsenic Exposure in Relation to Cutaneous Melanoma in Iowa. International journal of environmental research and public health. 2022 Feb 03;19(3)

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PMID: 35162766

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