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LA hospital to probe possible pollution-brain cancer link

Al Musella's Comments: (This is his personal views and are not necessarily the views of the Musella Foundation!)


Posted on: 10/01/2003

Posted on Wed, Oct. 01, 2003

LA hospital to probe possible pollution-brain cancer link

Associated Press

LOS ANGELES - The regional clean-air agency announced Wednesday it is funding a research project to explore possible links between air pollution and brain cancer.

The $559,000 study will examine the brain tissue of laboratory animals exposed to selected toxic air pollutants found in the region's air, the nation's dirtiest.

Any noticed changes will be compared to those in human brain tumor tissue to determine whether air pollution causes changes in tissue associated with the formation of brain cancer, researchers said.

The South Coast Air Quality Management District is funding the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center study through a foundation it set up earlier this year. The agency is charged with cleaning up the air in the greater Los Angeles region.

Recent studies suggest there are links between air pollution exposure and brain cancer. Data show some fine particulate air pollutants, including those contained in diesel exhaust, can penetrate the brains of laboratory animals through the bloodstream.

Cedars-Sinai neurosurgeon Dr. Keith Black will lead the study. Black said at a news conference that the incident of brain tumors in the young appeared to be on the rise.

"I believe the work we are initiating today will provide answers to important questions about brain cancer risk factors facing our children and future generations," Black said.

The district encompasses all or parts of Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties, a 12,000-square-mile area with more than 14 million people.

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