A study links soil metals with cancer mortality
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IMAGE: This is spatial distribution of the composition of metals in soil in the Spanish municipalities of the Iberian Peninsula, specifically, zinc (Zn), aluminum (Al), manganese (Mn), cadmium (Cd), lead (Pb)… view more 

Credit: G. López-Abente et al./Environ Sci Pollut Res Int.

Spanish epidemiologists and geologists have found associations between esophageal cancer and soils where lead is abundant, lung cancer and terrains with increased copper content, brain tumor with areas rich in arsenic, and bladder cancer with high cadmium levels. These statistical links do not indicate that there is a cause-effect relationship between soil type and cancer, but they suggest that the influence of metals from the earth’s surface on the geographical distribution of tumors should be analyzed.

The risk of dying from cancer is not the same in all geographic regions. There are many factors that influence, including the type of soil, since it can harbor heavy metals and semimetals that are carcinogenic for humans. The chronic exposure of a population to these toxic elements, which enter the body through the food chain and food, could increase the frequency of certain tumors in some territories.

In this context, researchers from the National Epidemiology Center of the Carlos III

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