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Childhood and adolescent environmental exposures and the incidence of cancer in adulthood

I. Levy

The goal of the study is to examine the association between exposure to air pollution during adolescence and cancer incidents during young to mid adulthood. The main task of the TCEEH in this project was to develop a Land Use Regression (LUR) model for the entire Israel. Since LUR models rely on air pollutant measurements, their application is limited to recent periods where such measurements are available, and may not be useful for longitudinal studies that extend several decades. In Year 4 we worked out an approach to overcome this gap, using the LUR model we developed in Year 3 for NOx. The model is based on annual averages of NOx at all available air quality monitoring sites in Israel from 1991-2011, with time as one of the independent variables. We used historical data about other independent variables to apply the model’s prediction to earlier periods (1961 onward), when AQM measurements were not available. The model’s predictions were then validated at the national scale following a top-down approach against independent estimates of NOx emissions from on-road vehicles. The model’s performance in terms of cross validated R2 against all available monitoring sites is 0.614, and the correlation between the model’s annual averages and the national annual NOx emissions between 1965 and 2011 is 0.72. The use of available historical data on the roads’ network and on population density together with complementary estimates of the change in pollution levels over time allowed the reconstruction of historical exposures. A manuscript describing the model is under preparation. Our plans are to develop in the coming year an LUR model for PM2.5.