Outdoor air pollution leading cancer cause: WHO

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Source: Sydney Morning Herald – AFP

“We now know that outdoor air pollution is not only a major risk to health in  general, but also a leading environmental cause of cancer deaths.” 

Air Pollution and Cancer WHO

Photo: Kristjan Porm

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has classified outdoor air pollution as a  leading cause of cancer in humans.

“The air we breathe has become polluted with a mixture of cancer-causing  substances,” said Kurt Straif of the WHO’s International Agency for Research on  Cancer (IARC) on Thursday.

“We now know that outdoor air pollution is not only a major risk to health in  general, but also a leading environmental cause of cancer deaths.”

The IARC said a panel of top experts had found “sufficient evidence” that  exposure to outdoor air pollution caused lung cancer and raised the risk of  bladder cancer.

Although the composition of air pollution and levels of exposure can vary  dramatically between locations, the agency said its conclusions applied to all  regions of the globe.

Air pollution was already known to increase the risk of respiratory and heart  diseases.

The IARC said pollution exposure levels increased significantly in some parts  of the world in recent years, notably in rapidly industrialising nations with  large populations…Read more

The most recent data, from 2010, showed that 223,000 lung cancer deaths  worldwide were the result of air pollution, the agency said.

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