From the 1950s to the 1980s, hexavalent chromium compounds were used as additives at certain water-cooling towers at three southern California gas compressor facilities. Claims of potential residential chromium exposure prompted the examination of age-adjusted mortality rates during 1989 to 1998 for lung cancer, all cancer, and all deaths for neighborhoods near versus distant from the plants. Differences in the rates between areas tended to be small and not statistically significant. The only significant difference was a lower, rather than higher, rate of total cancer among women in the potentially exposed areas. Study limitations preclude a definitive assessment of risk, but similar to previous investigations of cancer in relation to environmental chromium exposure in other locations, this study found no evidence of a cancer hazard among residents living near these California gas compressor facilities.
From the International Epidemiology Institute, Rockville, Md.
Address correspondence to: William J. Blot, PhD, International Epidemiology Institute, 1455 Research Boulevard, Suite 550, Rockville, MD 20850-3127.
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