Nationwide, counties with the poorest quality across five domains, air, water, land, the built environment and sociodemographic, had the highest incidence of cancer, according to a new study published in the journal Cancer. Poor air quality and factors of the built environment, such as the presence of major highways and the availability of public transit and housing, were the most strongly associated with high cancer rates, while water quality and land pollution had no measurable effect. The findings may help reduce cancer by driving policy to lower pollution in areas with high cancer rates linked to the environment. Previous research has shown that genetics can be blamed for only about half of all cancers, suggesting that exposure to environmental toxins or socioeconomic factors may also play a role.
From University of Illinois, Chicago Photo Credit John Vlahakis