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A cohort study of intra-urban variations in volatile organic compounds and mortality, Toronto, Canada


Villeneuve, PJ and Jerrett, M and Su, J and Burnett, RT and Chen, H and Brook, J and Wheeler, AJ and Cakmak, S and Goldberg, MS, A cohort study of intra-urban variations in volatile organic compounds and mortality, Toronto, Canada, Environmental Pollution, 183 pp. 30-39. ISSN 0269-7491 (2013) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 201 Elsevier Ltd

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.envpol.2012.12.022


This study investigated associations between long-term exposure to ambient volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and mortality. 58,760 Toronto residents (≥35 years of age) were selected from tax filings and followed from 1982 to 2004. Death information was extracted using record linkage to national mortality data. Land-use regression surfaces for benzene, n-hexane, and total hydrocarbons were generated from sampling campaigns in 2002 and 2004 and assigned to residential addresses in 1982. Cox regression was used to estimate relationships between each VOC and non-accidental, cardiovascular, and cancer mortality. Positive associations were observed for each VOC. In multi-pollutant models the benzene and total hydrocarbon signals were strongest for cancer. The hazard ratio for cancer that corresponded to an increase in the interquartile range of benzene (0.13 μg/m(3)) was 1.06 (95% CI = 1.02-1.11). Our findings suggest ambient concentrations of VOCs were associated with cancer mortality, and that these exposures did not confound our previously reported associations between NO2 and cardiovascular mortality.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Air pollution, Cancer, Cardiovascular disease, Cohort study, GIS, Mortality, Nitrogen dioxide, Respiratory disease, Volatile organic compounds
Research Division:Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services
Research Group:Human resources and industrial relations
Research Field:Occupational and workplace health and safety
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Public health (excl. specific population health)
Objective Field:Public health (excl. specific population health) not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Wheeler, AJ (Dr Amanda Wheeler)
ID Code:101128
Year Published:2013
Web of Science® Times Cited:47
Deposited By:Menzies Institute for Medical Research
Deposited On:2015-06-10
Last Modified:2017-12-12

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