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“In England, where cancer mortality data have been collected and analyzed for over a century, geographic analysis can be highly sophisticated. In 1997, a team of researchers mapped the home residences of all 22,458 children who had died of leukemia and other cancers in England, Wales, and Scotland between 1953 and 1980. They then created a second map that charted the locations of every potential hazardous site—ranging from power plants to neighborhood auto body shops. They then superimposed the two maps. Their findings reveal that children face an increased risk of cancer if they live within a few miles of certain kinds of industries—especially those involving large-scale use of petroleum or chemical solvents at high temperatures. These include oil refineries, airfields, paint makers, and foundries. The danger was greatest within a few hundred yards and tapered off with distance. Among children who had moved during their short lives, the relationship was stronger for their birth address than it was for their address at the time of their death. This result strongly suggests that very early—probably prenatal—exposures to environmental carcinogens create the threat of cancer in children.”

Steingraber, Sandra. Living Downstream: An Ecologist’s Personal Investigation of Cancer and the Environment (pp. 64-65). Da Capo Press. Kindle Edition.

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