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Kyeongmin Kwak 1 Article
Systematic review and meta-analysis of cancer risks in relation to environmental waste incinerator emissions: a meta-analysis of case-control and cohort studies
Kiook Baek, Jong-Tae Park, Kyeongmin Kwak
Epidemiol Health. 2022;44:e2022070.   Published online September 1, 2022
DOI: https://doi.org/10.4178/epih.e2022070
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Abstract
OBJECTIVES
Various toxic substances can be generated from incinerators, exposing nearby residents, and epidemiological studies have shown wide variations in risk estimates for cancer risk in populations living close to incinerators.
METHODS
Following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines, a literature search and systematic review were conducted to identify studies conducted on general populations exposed to environmental incinerator emissions and cancer outcomes. Meta-analysis was performed according to the cancer types for which 2 or more studies were reported. Subgroup analysis was done for sex, the exposure estimation method, the study period, and the type of outcome.
RESULTS
Eleven studies were found for the qualitative review and meta-analysis. Seven studies had a case-control design, and 4 had a cohort design. The pooled effect size was not significant for breast, colorectal, liver, lung, lymphohematopoietic, stomach, bladder, central nervous system, and laryngeal cancers, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, sarcoma, leukemia, and all cancers. In the subgroup analysis, the pooled effect size of laryngeal cancer in females was 1.82 (95% confidence interval, 1.10 to 3.01), although only 2 studies were identified.
CONCLUSIONS
The meta-analysis did not provide evidence of an increased risk for any cancer among populations living near waste incinerators, except for laryngeal cancer in females. However, since relatively few studies were reviewed and some cancer types showed significant increases in individual studies, this evidence needs to be updated regularly.
Summary
Korean summary
본 연구에서는 현재까지 소각장 인근 주민들의 암 위험도에 대해 보고된 환자-대조군 연구 및 코호트 연구를 체계적 문헌고찰과 메타분석법을 활용하여 분석하였다. 총 11개의 문헌에서 보고한 암 위험도를 암종별로 분석한 결과 소각장 인근 거주로 인한 암 위험도 상승이 유의하게 상승한 암종은 없었다. 세부 그룹 분석에서 여성의 후두암이 비록 단 2개 문헌에서만 보고하고 있었지만 유의한 상승을 보였다. 본 연구는 현재까지 논란이 많은 소각장 인근 거주와 암 발생 위험도의 증가에 대해 관찰연구로서 생태학적 연구를 배제하고 비교적 역학적 증거로서 가치가 높은 연구방법인 환자-대조군 연구와 코호트 연구를 고찰한 의의가 있으며, 본 연구의 방법론을 활용하면 추후 같은 주제의 증거를 지속적으로 갱신하여 종합할 수 있으리라 기대한다.
Key Message
This meta-analysis showed a lack of evidence of elevated risk of specific cancers after pooling the effect sizes by cancer type, except for laryngeal cancer in women. However, due to the small number of included studies, the evidence needs to be monitored and updated on a regular basis in the future.

Epidemiol Health : Epidemiology and Health