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Study: Traffic-Related Pollution Increases Likelihood For Childhood Cancers

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Beltway traffic (credit: JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)

Beltway traffic (credit: JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)

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LOS ANGELES (CBSDC) – Traffic got you down? Well, it also may lead to childhood cancer. Seriously.

A new study from the American Association for Cancer Research has established a possible link between traffic-related air pollution and several kinds of childhood cancers.

The research, which was presented in Washington, D.C., on April 8, found that increased exposure to traffic-related pollution during pregnancy brought about a higher rate of contracting acute lymphoblastic leukemia, as well as two other childhood cancers.

Julia Heck, an epidemiologist at UCLA’s Fielding School of Public Health, oversaw the study. She was able to specify a link to germ cell tumors, which are cancers that are found in the testicles, ovaries, and other organs. Heck was also able to find a link to eye cancer.

The research looked at 3,590 children from the California Cancer Registry who had been born between 1998 and 2007. The results from those children were then compared to the results of more than 80,000 randomly selected children in the California registry. According to the study, Heck and her team found the correlated increases to be concrete.

“The main reason for undertaking this study was that we know much more about the causes of adult cancers than we do of the causes of childhood cancers,” Heck told Fox News. “We studied pregnancy exposures because the fetus is likely to be more vulnerable to environmental factors during that time, and we also know that certain childhood cancers originate in utero.”

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