Jump to content

Lung cancer may be linked to Gulf War fires


Recommended Posts

Lung cancer may be linked to Gulf War fires

Monday, December 20, 2004 Posted: 12:18 PM EST (1718 GMT)

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Veterans of the 1991 Persian Gulf War exposed to pollution from oil well fires, exhausts and other sources may face an increased risk of lung cancer, a government advisory group reported Monday.

A committee of the Institute of Medicine concluded there isn't enough evidence to determine whether most of veterans' health problems are associated with such exposures.

But it said occupational and environmental exposure to combustion products has been shown to increase danger of lung cancer.

"Studies of people exposed to air pollution, vehicle exhaust and burning of coal and other heating and cooking fuels consistently show that such exposures are linked to increased risk for developing lung cancer," committee chair Lynn Goldman said in a statement.

"This provides sufficient evidence that exposure to combustion products during the Gulf War could be associated with lung cancer for some veterans," said Goldman, a professor at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.

However, Goldman added, "it should be emphasized that smoking is the major culprit for lung cancer, accounting for 80 percent of all cases, according to the American Cancer Society."

The committee said evidence is too weak to connect other cancers to exposure to combustion products. But it said there are indications that such exposure may be linked to asthma, cancers of the nose, mouth and throat, bladder and to low birth weight and premature births among women exposed while pregnant.

A major problem, the report said, is that there is little information about the actual exposure of individual service members to these pollutants during the war.

Iraqi troops retreating from Kuwait ignited more than 600 oil well fires and the smoke and other combustion products sometimes remained low to the ground mixing with other products from vehicle exhaust, heaters and cooking.

The Institute of Medicine is a branch of the National Academy of Science, an independent organization chartered by Congress to advise the government on scientific matters.

Here is the link from CNN


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.