UN agency names air pollution as leading cause of cancer


The World Health Organization’s cancer agency on October 17, 2013 said that the air that we breathe contains substances which cause cancer and is not being officially declared as carcinogenic to people.

air pollution

Data from the International Agency for Research on Cancer revealed that in 2010, about 223,000 deaths have been caused by lung cancer all over the world, which is a direct result of air pollution. The report added that there is enough evidence to prove that polluted air also contributes to the risk of developing bladder cancer.

The level of exposure varies in different parts of the world, however, the risk is reportedly similar to the one of breathing in second-hand tobacco smoke. Deputy head Dana Loomis in a statement said, “Our task was to evaluate the air everyone breathes rather than focus on specific air pollutants”. Air pollution is heavily caused by vehicles, agricultural and industrial emissions, power generation, as well as residential heating and cooking.

The research suggested that exposure levels have increased dramatically in many countries, especially in those that have big populations going through rapid industrialization, such as China for example. Thousands of studies have been reviewed during research, which stated that particulate matter is the major component which causes lung diseases.

Photo Credits: Guardian