This monograph reviews the progress made in analyzing suspected carcinogens extracted from air contaminant samples and the possible role they play in the etiology of lung cancer. Because this aspect of air pollution has been studied only in recent years, most of the work described in this volume is, belatedly, of an exploratory nature.
Numerous epidemiological studies conducted in this country and in England have demonstrated a convincing relationship between lung cancer and an "environmental factor," together with, and independent of, cigarette smoking. Measurements of benzo(a)pyrene and other polynuclear aromatics found in soot, diesel exhaust, rubber tire dust, products of incomplete combustion, and air pollution generally, along with results of experimental carcinogenesis, appear to incriminate air pollution as the environmental factor, particularly in highly industrialized and coal-burning areas. The continuous benzpyrene exposure in some cities, as extrapolated by the Public Health Service from air sampling data, is reported to be