The association between air pollution and cancers: controversial evidence of a systematic review

Bladder Cancer

Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2020 Aug 7. doi: 10.1007/s11356-020-10377-z. Online ahead of print.


There are inconsistent reports on the association between air pollution and cancers. This systematic review was, therefore, conducted to ascertain the relationship between air pollution and some cancers. This is a systematic review study, which all articles published in this area were extracted from January 1, 1950 to December 31, 2018 from Web of Science, PubMed, Scopus, Cochrane Library, MEDLINE, EMBASE, Science Direct, Google scholar. Searching was performed independently by two search-method

experts. The required data were extracted from the articles by an author-made questionnaire. Forty-eight articles were investigated. Evidence linking air pollution to some cancers is limited. Leukemia had the highest association with exposure to various air pollutants and bladder cancer had the lowest association. It is noteworthy that the specific type of pollutants in all studies was not specified. Based on the findings, the results are contradictory, and the role of air pollution in some cancers cannot be supported. Accordingly, studies are recommended to be performed at the individual level or multifactorial studies to specifically investigate the relationship between air pollution and these types of cancers. In this way, the role of air pollution in the incidence of these cancers can be determined more accurately.