Annals of Tropical Medicine and Public Health

: 2015  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 42--43

Exposure to environmental contaminant and calculation for cancer risk

Beuy Joob1, Viroj Wiwanitkit2,  
1 Medical Center, Sanitation 1 Medical Academic Center, Bangkok, Thailand
2 Department of Tropical Medicine, Hainan Medical University, Hainan, Haikou, China

Correspondence Address:
Beuy Joob
Sanitation 1 Medical Academic Center, Bangkok

How to cite this article:
Joob B, Wiwanitkit V. Exposure to environmental contaminant and calculation for cancer risk .Ann Trop Med Public Health 2015;8:42-43

How to cite this URL:
Joob B, Wiwanitkit V. Exposure to environmental contaminant and calculation for cancer risk . Ann Trop Med Public Health [serial online] 2015 [cited 2020 Jul 15 ];8:42-43
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Full Text

Dear Sir,

In the present day, there are several hazardous environmental contaminants. Exposure to those contaminants can be dangerous, and long-term exposure is reported to be related to carcinogenesis. The cancer risk due to exposure to risk environmental contaminants is a very important concern in public health [1],[2],[3] Attempts to estimate the risk for cancer due to exposure are interesting. The calculation for predicted cancer incidence due to exposure to contamination can be performed. The individual lifetime cancer risk can be estimated by standard calculation according to the following formula: Individual lifetime cancer risk = concentration of air contaminant × lifetime unit risk factor. The unit risk factor for each contaminant is a standard reference value (mostly collected from, and the concentration of air contaminants can be directly measured by environmental chemical analysis techniques. The formula used for the calculation of cancer risk is as follows: Exposure concentration × unit risk factor. However, exposure concentration is not just a measured quantity, it has to be calculated based on the number of hours exposed, frequency of exposure, and average time.

Cancer risk inh (i) = EC × URF

EC = Ca × EF × ED / AT × 365 days per year

URF: Unit risk factor

Cancer Risk inh(i): Individual lifetime cancer risk through direct inhalation of carcinogen i

Ca: Total air concentration

EC: Exposure concentration: mcg/m 3

EF: Exposure frequency days/year

ED: Exposure duration year

AT: Average time year

To make a good assessment, concern regarding the method of estimation of the concentration is needed and one has to take into consideration all the factors mentioned above.


1Boffetta P. Environment and cancer risk. Rev Prat 2013;63:1122-5.
2Boffetta P. Human cancer from environmental pollutants: The epidemiological evidence. Mutat Res 2006;608:157-62.
3Boffetta P, Nyberg F. Contribution of environmental factors to cancer risk. Br Med Bull 2003;68:71-94.