Export file:


  • RIS(for EndNote,Reference Manager,ProCite)
  • BibTex
  • Text


  • Citation Only
  • Citation and Abstract

G.I.S. Surveillance of Chronic Non-occupational Exposure to Heavy Metals as Oncogenic Risk

1 The Iuliu Haţieganu University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Cluj-Napoca
2 The Professor Dr. Iuliu Moldovan Institute of Public Health Cluj-Napoca
3 ICIA Cluj-Napoca
4 The Professor Dr. Ion Chiricuţă Oncologic Institute Cluj-Napoca
5 The Babeş-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca; Romania

Special Issues: Health and Wealth, inequality and health status, public health nutrition: the major challenges to creating a healthier world

Introduction: The potential oncogenic effect of some heavy metals in people occupationally and non-occupationally exposed to such heavy metals is already well demonstrated. This study seeks to clarify the potential role of these heavy metals in the living environment, in this case in non-occupational multifactorial aetiology of malignancies in the inhabitants of areas with increased prevalent environmental levels of heavy metals. Methods: Using a multidisciplinary approach throughout a complex epidemiological study, we investigated the potential oncogenic role of non-occupational environmental exposure to some heavy metals [chrome (Cr), nickel (Ni), copper (Cu), zinc (Zn), cadmium (Cd), lead (Pb) and arsenic (As)—in soil, drinking water, and food, as significant components of the environment] in populations living in areas with different environmental levels (high vs. low) of the above-mentioned heavy metals. The exposures were evaluated by identifying the exposed populations, the critical elements of the ecosystems, and as according to the means of identifying the types of exposure. The results were interpreted both epidemiologically (causal inference, statistical significance, mathematical modelling) and by using a GIS approach, which enabled indirect surveillance of oncogenic risks in each population. Results: The exposure to the investigated heavy metals provides significant risk factors of cancer in exposed populations, in both urban and rural areas [χ² test (p < 0.05)]. The GIS approach enables indirect surveillance of oncogenic risk in populations. Conclusions: The role of non-occupational environmental exposure to some heavy metals in daily life is among the more significant oncogenic risk factors in exposed populations. The statistically significant associations between environmental exposure to such heavy metals and frequency of neoplasia in exposed populations become obvious when demonstrated on maps using the GIS system. Environmental surveillance of heavy metals pollution using GIS should be identified as an important element of surveillance, early detection, and control of neoplastic risks in populations, at the level of a single locality, but even on a wider geographical scale.
  Article Metrics


1. European Environment and Health Strategies (EHAP) 2004-2010 Programme. http://ec.europa.eu/health/healthy_environments/policy/health_environment/actionplan_en.htm

2. Fasinu P, Orisakwe OE: Heavy metal pollution in sub-Saharan Africa and possible implications in cancer epidemiology. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2013; 14(6):3393-402.

3. Tabrez S, Priyadarshini M, Priyamvada S, Khan MS, Na A, Zaidi SK: Gene-environment interactions in heavy metal and pesticide carcinogenesis. Mutat Res Genet Toxicol Environ Mutagen. 2014 Jan 15; 760:1-9. doi: 10.1016/j.mrgentox.2013.11.002. Epub 2013 Dec 3.

4. Åkesson A, Barregard L, Bergdahl IA, Nordberg GF, Nordberg M, Skerfving S: Non-renal effects and the risk assessment of environmental cadmium exposure. Environ Health Perspect. 2014 May; 122(5):431-8. doi: 10.1289/ehp.1307110. Epub 2014 Feb 25.

5. Adams SV, Quraishi SM, Shafer MM, Passarelli MN, Freney EP, Chlebowski RT, Luo J, Meliker JR, Mu L, Neuhouser ML, Newcomb PA: Dietary cadmium exposure and risk of breast, endometrial, and ovarian cancer in the Women's Health Initiative. Environ Health Perspect. 2014 Jun; 122(6):594-600. doi: 10.1289/ehp.1307054. Epub 2014 Mar 14.

6. Hartwig A: Cadmium and cancer. Met Ions Life Sci. 2013; 11:491-507. doi: 10.1007/978-94-007-5179-8_15. Review.

7. Nagata C, Nagao Y, Nakamura K, Wada K, Tamai Y, Tsuji M, Yamamoto S, Kashiki Y.: Cadmium exposure and the risk of breast cancer in Japanese women. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2013 Feb; 138(1):235-9. doi: 10.1007/s10549-013-2414-4.

8. Kossowska B, Dudka I, Gancarz R, Antonowicz-Juchniewicz J.: Application of classic epidemiological studies and proteomics in research of occupational and environmental exposure to lead, cadmium and arsenic. Int J Hyg Environ Health. 2013 Jan; 216(1):1-7. doi: 10.1016/j.ijheh.2012.03.002. Epub 2012 Apr 8. Review.

9. Bacquart T, Frisbie S, Mitchell E, Grigg L, Cole C, Small C, Sarkar B: Multiple inorganic toxic substances contaminating the groundwater of Myingyan Township, Myanmar: arsenic, manganese, fluoride, iron, and uranium. Sci Total Environ. 2015 Jun 1; 517:232-45. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2015.02.038. Epub 2015 Mar 5.

10. Liu X, Song Q, Tang Y, Li W, Xu J, Wu J, Wang F, Brookes PC: Human health risk assessment of heavy metals in soil-vegetable system: a multi-medium analysis. Sci Total Environ. 2013 Oct 1; 463-464:530-40. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2013.06.064. Epub 2013 Jul 5.

11. Verougstraete V,Lison D,Hotz P: Cadmium, lung and prostate cancer: a systematic review of recent epidemiological data. J Toxicol Environ Health B Crit Rev.2003 May-Jun; 6(3):227-55.

12. Yuan X, Wang J, Shang Y, Sun B: Health risk assessment of cadmium via dietary intake by adults in China. J Sci Food Agric. 2014 Jan 30; 94(2):373-80.

13. Saleem M, Iqbal J, Shah MH: Non-carcinogenic and carcinogenic health risk assessment of selected metals in soil around a natural water reservoir, Pakistan. Ecotoxicol Environ Saf. 2014 Oct; 108:42-51. doi: 10.1016/j.ecoenv.2014.06.017.

14. Xingmei L,, Jianjun W, Jianming X, Characterizing the risk assessment of heavy metals and sampling uncertainty analysis in paddy field by geostatistics and GIS, Environmental Pollution, Volume 141, Issue 2, May 2006, Pages 257-264, (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0269749105004549)

15. Celine Siu-lan Lee, Xiangdong Li, Wenzhong Shi, Sharon Ching-nga Cheung, Iain Thornton: Metal contamination in urban, suburban, and country park soils of Hong Kong: A study based on GIS and multivariate statistics. Environmental Pollution Volume 141, Issue 2, May 2006, Pages 257–264.

16. Chaosheng Zhang: Using multivariate analyses and GIS to identify pollutants and their spatial patterns in urban soils in Galway, Ireland. Environmental Pollution Volume 142, Issue 3, August 2006, Pages 501–511.

17. A Facchinelli, E Sacchi, , L Mallen: Multivariate statistical and GIS-based approach to identify heavy metal sources in soils. Environmental Pollution Volume 114, Issue 3, October 2001, Pages 313–324.

18. Colak EH, Yomralioglu T, Nisanci R, Yildirim V, Duran C.: Geostatistical analysis of the relationship between heavy metals in drinking water and cancer incidence in residential areas in the Black Sea region of Turkey. J Environ Health. 2015 Jan-Feb; 77(6):86-93.

Copyright Info: © 2016, Ioan Stelian Bocşan, et al., licensee AIMS Press. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licese (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0)

Download full text in PDF

Export Citation

Article outline

Show full outline
Copyright © AIMS Press All Rights Reserved