Earlier this year, a study was released that linked air pollution to birth defects as of last week a branch agency of the World Health Organization (WHO) said that air pollution does indeed cause lung cancer via a report on NBC. This is not the first study nor will it be the last that will show of the effects that air pollution has on the human body. Recently, the studies are showing more direct correction between air pollution and ailments. This is what the report highlighted:
What many commuters choking on smog have long suspected has finally been scientifically validated: air pollution causes lung cancer.
The International Agency for Research on Cancer declared on Thursday that air pollution is a carcinogen, alongside known dangers such as asbestos, tobacco and ultraviolet radiation. The decision came after a consultation by an expert panel organized by IARC, the cancer agency of the World Health Organization, which is based in Lyon, France.
"We consider this to be the most important environmental carcinogen, more so than passive smoking," said Kurt Straif, head of the IARC department that evaluates cancer-causing substances.
IARC had previously deemed some of the components in air pollution such as diesel fumes to be carcinogens, but this is the first time it has classified air pollution in its entirety as cancer causing.
The risk to the individual is low, but Straif said the main sources of pollution are widespread, including transportation, power plants, and industrial and agricultural emissions.
Air pollution is a complex mixture that includes gases and particulate matter, and IARC said one of its primary risks is the fine particles that can be deposited deep in the lungs of people.
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Photo courtesy of Ellie Friedman