Experts from the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) have said that people who reside close to Texas refineries might be at an elevated risk of cancer. The study has found that proximity to these oil refineries is linked to an increased risk of multiple types of cancer. This study has been concluded by a team of physicians, environmental scientists, and scholars at UTMB. The findings of the study have been released in the journal of the National Cancer Institute. Past studies as well have established a possible link between proximity to the oil refineries and a higher risk of cancer. This time, experts have tried to confirm the hypothesis that an increased risk of many types of cancer is linked to proximity to oil refineries. Experts have looked at the data from the Texas Cancer Registry and the US Census data from 2001 to 2014. They have compared it with rates of bladder, breast, colon, lung, lymphoma, and prostate cancer of people who have been living within a radius of 30 miles of active oil refineries in Texas.
At the end of the study, experts have seen that there has been an increased risk of all different types of cancer in people who have been living close to these oil refineries in Texas. People who have lived within 10 miles of an active oil refinery have been at a higher risk of developing advanced-stage disease, said the experts from UTMB. The data from the US Census have found that nearly 6.3 million people over 20 years old are living within a radius of 30 miles of 28 active oil refineries in the region. The co-author of the study and Chief of Urology Department and a tenured professor of urology and Radiology Dr. Stephen Williams has said that the findings of the study need to be investigated at the individual level. He has said that there is a need for further studies to validate the risk of metastatic disease linked to the propinquity to an active oil refinery.
The multi-year-long study has found that out of more than 800000 cancer patients who have been living in Texas, around 34 percent of them reside close to an oil refinery. Past studies as well have shown that toxins such as benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, xylene compounds, which are linked to oil refineries, pose a greater risk of cancer to nearby residents. Texas has been the largest oil producer in the US. It as well has raised many public health concerns on behalf of those who have been living or working in close proximity to oil refineries in Texas. The team of experts is planning to apply for a grant from the Cancer Prevention Research Institute of Texas for further study on this subject.