177 Association between exposure to water sources contaminated with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and cancer risk: A systematic review

Ziyaei K., Mokhtari M., Hashemi M., Rezaei K., Abdi F. (2024) Science of the Total Environment, 924, art. no. 171261, Cited 1 times. DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2024.171261

ABSTRACT: The recent scientific focus on polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) has stemmed from their recognized genotoxic, mutagenic, and carcinogenic properties. This systematic review seeks to evaluate the nexus between exposure to water sources contaminated with PAHs and the associated cancer risk among global populations, encompassing both children and adults. Web of Science (WoS), Cochrane Library, PubMed, ProQuest, Scopus, and Google Scholar, were searched following the PRISMA guidelines, until December 31, 2023. Quality assessment of the selected studies was performed using the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale. The increased lifetime cancer risk (ILCR) attributed to PAH exposure through ingestion and dermal absorption was thoroughly examined across diverse age groups. After extensive searching, screening, and eligibility, 30 articles were included in this review, which was conducted in different parts of the world, including Nigeria (n = 11), China (n = 7), India (n = 4), Iran (n = 3), South Africa (n = 2), Italy (n = 1), Colombia (n = 1), and Iraq (n = 1). Our analysis underscores Nigeria’s alarming prevalence of PAH contamination in its rivers, groundwaters, and seawater. Remarkably, the highest cancer risk was identified among children and adults, notably in proximity to the Atlas Cove jetty (seawater) and various Nigerian rivers. This elevated risk is primarily attributed to the combined effects of ingestion and dermal absorption. Furthermore, our findings emphasize the prominent role of combustion-derived and pyrogenic sources of PAH in the examined aquatic ecosystems. This study unequivocally establishes that PAH-contaminated water sources significantly amplify the risk of cancer among both children and adults. The extent of risk variation is influenced by the specific water source, duration of exposure, and age group. Consequently, proactive identification of contaminated water sources and their pollution origins, coupled with targeted educational campaigns, holds promise for reducing the global burden of PAH-related cancer.

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