@RISK Models Cancer Risks of Carcinogen Intake from Food and Beverages for Canadians

universityofvictoriaWhile news headlines regularly report on acute health issues relating to food and beverages, such as E. coli outbreaks and salmonella poisoning, very little is known about the adverse health issues caused by the longer-term intake of contaminants in those foods and beverages – including carcinogens. The University of Victoria (UVic), a national and international leader in many areas of critical research, participated in the CAREX Canada Project, funded by the Canadian Partnership Against Cancer, to better understand the environmental and occupational exposures to substances associated with cancer, and subsequently provide support for exposure reduction strategies and cancer prevention programs.

The UVic team used @RISK, Palisade’s risk analysis software, to model differences in Lifetime Excess Cancer Risk for Canadians based on contaminants found in food and beverages. The results revealed notable differences in cancer risks for several different demographics, and are detailed in the thesis, Geographic Exposure and Risk Assessment for Food Contaminants in Canada, by Roslyn Cheasley, a Master’s student with the Department of Geography at UVic.

Palisade’s @RISK enabled the team to easily and effectively determine the concentration of carcinogenic elements in the identified food and beverage products, as well as learn if certain demographics were more at risk from dietary patterns than others.

“We decided to take things up a notch when we updated the data, and upgrade to a probabilistic analysis model based on Monte Carlo simulation,” said Cheasley. “We wanted to estimate the range and frequency of possible daily contaminant intakes for Canadians, as well as associate these intake levels with lifetime excess cancer risk. This is where @RISK came into the equation.”

» Read the complete case study here
» Learn more about @RISK
» University of Victoria (UVic)

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