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Effects of 500-Year Mercury Mining and Milling on Cancer Incidence in the Region of Idrija, Slovenia

Vesna Zadnik
Vera Pompe-Kirn

Puni tekst: engleski pdf 141 Kb

str. 897-903

preuzimanja: 664



The aim of the study was to determine whether the 500-year of mercury mining and milling in the Idrija region in
Slovenia and the resulting environmental pollution with mercury and smelting wastes containing radon, has caused an
increased cancer risk of the inhabitants. The polluted and the non-polluted parts of the region were defined. Cancer incidence
from the two regions was compared. Cancer incidence among miners was investigated separately. In the polluted
area male and female cancer incidence was higher than in the non-polluted area. Miners had an excess of incidence of total
cancer, of oral and pharyngeal cancers and of lung cancer. As indicated by multivariate analysis the increased risk of
miners could be assigned to their smoking and alcohol drinking habits. Higher estimated cumulative exposure to inorganic
mercury seems to contribute to their risk as well. Most of the excess cancer incidence of the population from the polluted
area could be explained by an unhealthy life style. In the case of lung cancer radon exposure contributes to the increased
risk as well. Therefore, a well planed health promotion program and further sanitation of old houses is proposed.

Ključne riječi

mercury; mining; exposure; pollution; cancer incidence; Idrija

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