Speculation on Bromide and Bladder Cancer Risk

As in past studies such as this the assumptions made in this work drive the conclusions. Whether the results correspond to reality is a matter of speculation.

Regli S, Chen J, Messner M, Elovitz MS, Letkiewicz F, Pegram R, Pepping TJ, Richardson S, Wright JM. Estimating Potential Increased Bladder Cancer Risk Due to Increased Bromide Concentrations in Sources of Disinfected Drinking Waters. Environ Sci Technol. 2015 Oct 21.

Public water systems are increasingly facing higher bromide levels in their source waters from anthropogenic contamination through coal-fired power plants, conventional oil and gas extraction, textile mills, and hydraulic fracturing. Climate change is likely to exacerbate this in coming years. We estimate bladder cancer risk from potential increased bromide levels in source waters of disinfecting public drinking water systems in the United States. Bladder cancer is the health endpoint used by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in its benefits analysis for regulating disinfection byproducts in drinking water. We use estimated increases in the mass of the four regulated trihalomethanes (THM4) concentrations (due to increased bromide incorporation) as the surrogate disinfection byproduct (DBP) occurrence metric for informing potential bladder cancer risk. We estimate potential increased excess lifetime bladder cancer risk as a function of increased source water bromide levels. Results based on data from 201 drinking water treatment plants indicate that a bromide increase of 50 µg/L could result in a potential increase of between 10-3 to 10-4 excess lifetime bladder cancer risk in roughly 90% of these plants.

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