U-M examine receives $13 million grant to trace most cancers danger from environmental exposures

Heavy metals like lead, industrial air pollution from metal mills, coal-fired energy vegetation or oil refineries, “perpetually chemical compounds” referred to as PFAS that don’t break down within the setting—how a lot are Michigan residents uncovered to those environmental contaminants and what does this imply for his or her danger of growing most cancers?

A brand new examine from College of Michigan Faculty of Public Well being and Rogel Most cancers Heart researchers will describe and quantify the influence of recognized and suspected environmental exposures on most cancers danger. This system, referred to as MI-CARES, or Michigan Most cancers and Analysis on the Atmosphere Research, is funded by a $13 million grant from the Nationwide Most cancers Institute.

Many communities expertise a disproportionate illness burden due to failed governmental stewardship of native environments and the prioritization of personal enterprise over well being safety. With rising consciousness of the well being threats of those selections, it’s important to place higher concentrate on environmental contaminants and public well being security.”


Celeste Leigh Pearce, principal investigator, professor of epidemiology, Faculty of Public Well being

MI-CARES will enroll at the least 100,000 folks from numerous racial and ethnic backgrounds who stay in environmental hotspots all through Michigan. This system will goal the Detroit metropolitan space, Flint, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Lansing and Saginaw, however enrollment can be open to all Michiganders ages 25-44. Contributors can be adopted over time by surveys in addition to blood and saliva samples to trace environmental exposures and most cancers biomarkers.

“With MI-CARES, we are going to study well-established carcinogens resembling sure parts of air air pollution and metals, but additionally concentrate on environmental contaminants with much less knowledge accessible to adequately assess danger, together with per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS. We may also examine their results collectively,” stated co-principal investigator Bhramar Mukherjee, professor and chair of biostatistics and professor of epidemiology on the Faculty of Public Well being and affiliate director for quantitative knowledge sciences at Rogel.

Michiganders have a protracted historical past of tragic environmental exposures, from contaminated animal feed with polybrominated biphenyls (PBBs) within the Nineteen Seventies, to steer and toxin contamination in Flint’s water provide. Michigan has the best recognized PFAS ranges of any state as a result of industrial contamination of lakes and rivers from the Nineteen Forties to 2000s.

The Saginaw-Bay Metropolis-Midland space, with giant Black and Hispanic communities, is probably the most polluted area in Michigan because of the greater than three dozen industrial services within the space, together with metal mills, coal-fired energy vegetation, rubbish incinerators and a big oil refinery.

“These exposures are profound and the robust historical past of neighborhood engagement and concern by neighborhood members of the influence of those environmental contaminants on resident well being makes MI-CARES possible,” stated co-principal investigator Dana Dolinoy, professor and chair of environmental well being sciences on the Faculty of Public Well being. “We hope this challenge will assist us perceive exposures and develop methods to switch most cancers danger.”

The MI-CARES group spans 5 departments throughout the Faculty of Public Well being in addition to the Heart for Well being Communications Analysis on the Rogel Most cancers Heart, demonstrating the broad vary of dedication and experience inside U-M. Faculty of Public Well being school Alison Mondul, Justin Colacino, Ken Resnicow, Sara Adar, John Meeker, Carrie Karvonen-Gutierrez and Nancy Fleischer are co-investigators on the challenge. As well as, the challenge will have interaction neighborhood companions throughout the state.

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