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Environmental Health

, 10:50

First Online: 24 May 2011Received: 23 December 2010Accepted: 24 May 2011DOI: 10.1186-1476-069X-10-50

Cite this article as: Linos, A., Petralias, A., Christophi, C.A. et al. Environ Health 2011 10: 50. doi:10.1186-1476-069X-10-50


BackgroundHexavalent chromium is a known carcinogen when inhaled, but its carcinogenic potential when orally ingested remains controversial. Water contaminated with hexavalent chromium is a worldwide problem, making this a question of significant public health importance.

MethodsWe conducted an ecological mortality study within the Oinofita region of Greece, where water has been contaminated with hexavalent chromium. We calculated gender, age, and period standardized mortality ratios SMRs for all deaths, cancer deaths, and specific cancer types of Oinofita residents over an 11-year period 1999 - 2009, using the greater prefecture of Voiotia as the standard population.

ResultsA total of 474 deaths were observed. The SMR for all cause mortality was 98 95% CI 89-107 and for all cancer mortality 114 95% CI 94-136. The SMR for primary liver cancer was 1104 95% CI 405-2403, p-value < 0.001. Furthermore, statistically significantly higher SMRs were identified for lung cancer SMR = 145, 95% CI 100-203, p-value = 0.047 and cancer of the kidney and other genitourinary organs among women SMR = 368, 95% CI 119-858, p-value = 0.025. Elevated SMRs for several other cancers were also noted lip, oral cavity and pharynx 344, stomach 121, female breast 134, prostate 128, and leukaemias 168, but these did not reach statistical significance.

ConclusionsElevated cancer mortality in the Oinofita area of Greece supports the hypothesis of hexavalent chromium carcinogenicity via the oral ingestion pathway of exposure. Further studies are needed to determine whether this association is causal, and to establish preventive guidelines and public health recommendations.

List of abbreviationsCIConfidence Interval

CrVIHexavalent Chromium

ICD-9International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, ninth edition

PMRProportional Mortality Ratio

SMRStandardized Mortality Ratio

Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-1476-069X-10-50 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Autor: Athena Linos - Athanassios Petralias - Costas A Christophi - Eleni Christoforidou - Paraskevi Kouroutou - Melina Stoltidis

Fuente: https://link.springer.com/

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