Incidence of Thyroid Cancer in Italian Contaminated Sites

Marta Benedetti, Amerigo Zona, Paolo Contiero, Eleonora D'Armiento, Ivano Iavarone, Working Group Airtum Working Group

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Some human literature suggests a possible role of endocrine disruptors (EDs) exposure in thyroid cancer (TC) development. We investigated TC incidence in selected Italian National Priority Contaminated Sites (NPCS) with documented presence of EDs considered thyroid carcinogens. Adjusted Standardized Incidence Ratios (SIRs), with their 90% confidence intervals, were computed by gender, and age-specific groups (aged 15-39 years, and 40 years or over) for each NPCS in the period 2006 to 2013. In the age group of 15-39 years, a significant excess of TC risk was found in two NPCSs in males; non-significant excess risks were observed in four NPCSs in males, and in five in females. In the age group of 40 years and over, significant excess risks were found in six NPCSs in males and in seven NPCSs in females; non-significant excess risks were identified in two NPCSs in males and females. The findings of several excesses in incidence, mainly observed in adults aged 40 years or over, are suggestive of a possible adverse effect associated with residence in NPCSs, even if a role of other factors cannot be excluded, due to the adoption of an ecological study design. Future analytical studies are needed to clarify if EDs are a TC risk factor for individuals living in NPCSs.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 29 2020


  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Environmental Exposure/adverse effects
  • Environmental Pollution/adverse effects
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Italy/epidemiology
  • Male
  • Thyroid Neoplasms/chemically induced
  • Young Adult


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