Petrol stations near homes carry cancer risk

Sunday, February 6, 2011

LONDON - Petrol stations seem to increase cancer risk, especially those situated within 100 metres of residential areas, says a study.

Marta Doval, a researcher at the University of Murcia in Spain, and his associates found that the air at petrol stations and in their vicinity was affected by emissions stemming from evaporated vehicle fuels, the Journal of Environmental Management reports.

“Some airborne organic compounds, such as benzene, which increase the risk of cancer, have been recorded at petrol stations at above the average levels for urban areas where traffic is the primary source of emission,” said Doval.

The team measured the levels of ‘typical traffic’ pollutants in different parts of Murcia, and calculated the quotients for the levels of an aromatic compound (benzene) and a hydrocarbon (n-hexane) at three petrol stations, according to a Murcia university statement.

“In the three cases, we obtained maximum distances of influence of close to 100 metres, although the average distance over which this contamination has an effect is around 50 metres,” said researcher Enrique Gonzlez.

However, the distances depend on the number of petrol pumps, the amount of fuel drawn from them, traffic intensity, structure of the surroundings, and weather conditions.

Filed under: Cancer, Medicine, World

will not be displayed