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Title: Trace element abundance and human epidemiology in Northern Ireland : the Tellus case study
Author: Barsby, Amy V.
Awarding Body: Queen's University Belfast
Current Institution: Queen's University Belfast
Date of Award: 2013
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The research explores the spatial correlation between selected trace element abundance in soil and epidemiological data with regard to spatial disease (particularly cancer) patterns. Interpolation techniques within Geographical Information System (GIS) and geostatistics were used to map the Tellus geochemistry data and radon concentrations provided by Geological Survey Northern Ireland (OSNI). This enabled the spatial distribution of the identified potentially toxic elements (PTEs) including arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd), chromium (Cr), lead (Pd), nickel (Ni), selenium (Se), gamma dose rate and radon to be examined and rel ated to geological parent material and pedological sources. The unified BARGE bioaccessabi lity method was used to investigate the bioaccessible fraction of the PTEs. This provided a greater understanding of possible sources and exposure pathways. The incidence of twelve different cancer types (lung, stomach, leukaemia, oesophagus, colorectal, bladder, kidney, breast, mesothelioma, melanoma and non melanoma both basal and squamous skin cancer, were examined in the fonn of twenty-five coded datasets comprising aggregates over the 12 year period from 1993 to 2006. These data were provided by the Northern Ireland Cancer Registry (NICR). Age Stantardised Incidence Rates (ASIR)s were mapped and a local Moran's I analysis identified clustering of wards with high and low incidences of the different cancers and outlier wards of high or low incidences surrounded by wards exhibiting very different disease statistics. The use of a geographical weighted regression enabled the relationship between different cancers and PTEs in the soil and radon to be investigated. The results show comparisons of the geographical incidence of certain cancers (lung cancer and non melanoma skin cancer) in relation to concentrations of certain PTEs (arsenic and uranium levels in soils and radon). Northern Ireland fonns an important test case, as the complex geology is a microcosm for that encountered across the UK and Ireland.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available