Journal article

A cohort study of intra-urban variations in volatile organic compounds and mortality, Toronto, Canada

Paul J Villeneuve, Michael Jerrett, Jason Su, Richard T Burnett, Hong Chen, Jeffrey Brook, Amanda J Wheeler, Sabit Cakmak, Mark S Goldberg



This study investigated associations between long-term exposure to ambient volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and mortality. 58,760 Toronto residents (≥35 years of age) were selected from tax filings and followed from 1982 to 2004. Death information was extracted using record linkage to national mortality data. Land-use regression surfaces for benzene, n-hexane, and total hydrocarbons were generated from sampling campaigns in 2002 and 2004 and assigned to residential addresses in 1982. Cox regression was used to estimate relationships between each VOC and non-accidental, cardiovascular, and cancer mortality. Positive associations were observed for each VOC. In multi-pollutant models the benze..

View full abstract


Funding Acknowledgements

We thank Lana Marjama of Statistics Canada for overseeing the record linkage of the cohort to the Canadian Mortality Database, and Sonia Demers and Hung Pham for their assistance with the management of data from the T1 Family File database. We are also grateful to Dores Zuccarini for her contributions to the original study design. We thank Dr. Dave Verma for assistance with processing and interpreting the VOC samples. This study was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and by Health Canada. The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.