Studies Find Decline in Breast Cancer Rates, Increase in Air Pollution
A study of Kaiser Permanente Northern California patients found that a decrease in breast cancer rates could be linked to a decrease in the use of combined hormone therapy for women after menopause, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
According to the study, rates of combined estrogen-progestin hormone therapy use in women between ages 50 and 74 decreased by 68% from 2001 through 2003. Breast cancer incidences for the same age group during the same time period dropped by 10%.
Researchers from Kaiser and the Northern California Cancer Center said the most recent data indicated that breast cancer rates for all of California declined by 11% in 2003 and decreased again in 2004 (Allday, San Francisco Chronicle, 12/7).
At least 1,100 premature deaths and 500,000 work and school absences in California in 2005 were caused by breathing emissions from outdated tractors, bulldozers and other diesel construction equipment, according to a study by the Union of Concern Scientists, the Los Angeles Times reports. The study estimated public health costs of $9.1 billion.
The study marked the first time the health impacts of construction-related air pollution in California have been analyzed, the author said.
About 70% of construction equipment in the state is not covered by federal and state regulations because of its age, state officials said. The report recommended that state regulators require equipment owners to retrofit or replace old equipment (Wilson, Los Angeles Times, 12/6).
KPBS' "KPBS News" on Wednesday reported on the study. The segment includes comments from Don Anair, author of the report (Goldberg, "KPBS News," KPBS, 12/6).
A transcript and audio of the segment are available online.
At a more local level, cleaner air in the San Joaquin Valley would result in 1,400 fewer premature deaths and nearly 900,000 fewer absences from school, according to data presented Wednesday at an annual symposium on air pollution control in the region, the Fresno Bee reports. Air pollution costs area residents $3.3 billion.
The San Joaquin Valley violated California's smog standard 143 times last summer, more than any other region (Grossi, Fresno Bee, 12/7).