Salud Pública de México

Pollution in the Americas: a leading cause of disease burden and an opportunity for cancer prevention

Jonathan M Samet, Elizabeth Fontham, Martin Alpirez-Guardo, Vilma Sousa-Santana


Objective. Environmental and occupational agents are causes of cancer and disease worldwide while their control and the reduction of the associated disease burden remains complex. Materials and methods. This paper summarizes the current status of the burden of environmental and occupational causes of disease in the Americas based on presentations from a panel on environment, occupation and other environmental risk factors for cancer in the Americas, delivered in Panama, at the international conference Promoting Health Equity and Transnational Collaborations for the Prevention and Control of Cancer in the Americas. Results. Three case studies are presented to illustrate the iact ofmp specific environmental and occupational agents and the challenge of control. Conclusions. There are still fully avoidable exposures to carcinogens, as well documented in the case of asbestos in Brazil. Thus, there are abundant targets for intervention to reduce cancer in the Americas.

Palabras clave

pollutants; environmental exposure; occupational exposure; case repor

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Salud Pública de México es una publicación periódica electrónica, bimestral, publicada por el Instituto Nacional de Salud Pública (con domicilio en Avenida Universidad núm. 655, col. Santa María Ahuacatitlán, Cuernavaca, Morelos, C.P. 62100, teléfono 329-3000, página web,, con ISSN: 1606-7916 y Reserva de Derechos al Uso Exclusivo con número: 04-2012-071614550600-203, ambos otorgados por el Instituto Nacional del Derecho de Autor. Editor responsable: Carlos Oropeza Abúndez. Responsable de la versión electrónica: Subdirección de Comunicación Científica y Publicaciones, Avenida Universidad núm. 655, planta baja, col. Santa María Ahuacatitlán, Cuernavaca, Morelos, C.P. 62100, teléfono 329 3000. Fecha de última modificación: 11 de abril de 2019. D.R. © por el sitio: Instituto Nacional de Salud Pública.

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