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17 June 2020

Indoor burning of biomass and kerosene fuels is associated with higher risk of developing several types of digestive cancers

A new study published today in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives provides strong evidence that household burning of biomass and kerosene fuels, especially using stoves without a chimney, increases the risk of developing several cancers of the digestive tract.

This report is based on more than 10 years of follow-up of 50 045 participants in the Golestan Cohort Study, which was initiated in 2004 by the Digestive Disease Research Institute of the Tehran University of Medical Sciences (Islamic Republic of Iran), in collaboration with the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and the United States National Cancer Institute.

Limited studies in humans have assessed the risk of cancers among individuals who use biomass fuels for household purposes; most are retrospective and have focused on respiratory cancers, whereas the risk among these individuals of developing other cancer types, including digestive cancers, has been largely understudied. The results of this study indicate that replacing traditional stoves without a chimney with newer chimney-equipped stoves might be appropriate for lowering the health hazards associated with burning non-clean fuels indoors.

Sheikh M, Poustchi H, Pourshams A, Khoshnia M, Gharavi A, Zahedi M, et al.
Household fuel use and the risk of gastrointestinal cancers: the Golestan Cohort Study
Environ Health Perspect, Published online 17 June 2020;

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Published in section: IARC News

Publication date: 17 June, 2020, 0:48

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