News from CEXS-UPF
Despite the existing evidence that establishes a direct link between aluminum production and the occurrence of bladder and lung cancer, the risk to suffer cancer in secondary aluminum industry has been little investigated. A report made by an association and neighborhood of a secondary aluminum smelter from Santa Margarida i els Monjos (Alt Penedès, Barcelona), the Center for Research in Occupational Health UPF (CISAL) started in 2010 a retrospective population study to analyze the risks of cancer among workers in the plant.
Consol Serra, current director of the Center for Research in Occupational Health, led the study that reveals a higher incidence of bladder cancer in workers AGMA factory, a secondary aluminum smelter located in the municipality of Santa Margarida i els Monjos . Of the 98 men who formed the study (women were excluded because they were not part of the risk population), 31 died during the follow-up period (1990-2011), 16 of them, from cancer. Mortality due to urinary bladder cancer was 6 times higher than the rest of the population and its incidence, 3 times higher. The incidence and mortality of prostate and lung cancer revealed no significant increases.
Although 70% of workers smoked, snuff consumption does not explain the high rate of mortality due to bladder cancer. The factory workers say they have been exposed to high temperatures, gases, vapors, oils, combustion products and gasoline, in addition to inhale powdered metal, silicon, potassium, magnesium, manganese, copper, iron or titanium, all of these possible substances contributors to cancer development.
Anastasia Maltseva, Consol Serra, Manolis Kogevinas. Cancer risk among workers of a secondary aluminium smelter. Occupational Medicine, Mayo 2016. doi:10.1093/occmed/kqw054