Pollutants in the air we breathe have been classed as a leading environmental cause of cancer by the World Health Organization. It said the evidence was clear they cause lung cancer.
According to WHO, some of the Sources of pollution include car exhaust fumes, power stations, emissions from agriculture and industry – as well as heating in people’s homes?
The WHO said the classification should act as a strong message to governments to take action.
The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a part of the WHO, has now classed air pollution in the same category as tobacco smoke, UV radiation and plutonium.
It said air pollution had been known to cause heart and lung diseases, but evidence had now emerged that it can also cause lung cancer.
The IARC said the most recent data suggested 223,000 deaths from lung cancer around the world were caused by air pollution, and data suggest there may also be a link with bladder cancer.
Dr Kurt Straif, from IARC, said: “The air we breathe has become polluted with a mixture of cancer-causing substances. “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.”
Dr Rachel Thompson, head of research interpretation at the World Cancer Research Fund International, said: “This latest evidence confirms the need for government, industry and multinational bodies to urgently address environmental causes of cancer.
“But there’s also a lot we can do as individuals to lower our chances of developing the disease such as being more physically active and adopting a healthier diet.”