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RC 4.7

Groundwater N-pollution and public health effects – The example of gastrointestinal cancer

Project description

This project is looking at the health effects of nitrate in drinking water in Denmark, exemplified by the case of gastrointestinal cancers. We are taking advantage of the unique set of registers that are available in Denmark. On the effect side, health data from the National Cancer Register is combined with geocoded addresses of all Danish residents from the CPR register. In combination with a newly developed drinking water quality map for the whole country based on the geodatabase JUPITER, exposure to nitrate from drinking water at an individual level can be estimated for the whole population since 1978. The resulting epidemiological study will have by far the largest study population and therefore be an important input to the so far equivocal question of health effects of nitrate in drinking water.

If a positive association between nitrate in drinking water and cancer should be found, the health related costs of nitrogen use in agriculture on society will be investigated.

Ph.D. student
Jörg Schullehner
Jorn_schullehner I’m a 27-year-old Ph.D. student at the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS) and the Department of Public Health at Aarhus University. I have a background in Environmental Engineering from ETH Zürich (Switzerland) and the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) with focus on drinking water supply and water pollution. The Ph.D. project is supervised by Birgitte Hansen (GEUS) and Torben Sigsgaard (AU).

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