The World Health Organization finally acknowledged the danger of increased air pollution, and more specifically particulate matter, by officially classifying it as carcinogenic to humans, placing it in the group of tobacco smoke, UV radiation and plutonium.
A group of world’s leading experts conducted a literature study on the influence of outdoor air pollution on human health and cancer development. Based on this and the findings of the International Agency for Research on Cancer Monographs Programme, it was concluded that air pollution is a major cause of lung and bladder cancer development.
To date, studies looking at air pollution have only identified it as a factor that increases the risk of heart disease and lung problems. However, the drastic raise in the amount of cancer-causing substances in the air encouraged the scientists to look closer into its possible effects and assess its contribution to cancer deaths caused by the environment.
One of the most highly affected by air pollution regions of the world is China. More than 100,000 cases of deaths due to lung cancer from substances in the air have been noted in the country, representing half of the total number of such cases in the world.
Although the country has already introduced quite a number of measures to tackle the problem, including , air-pollution taxes and shut down of airports and traffic, more efforts should be directed towards reducing pollution and smog-forming emissions. The developed world is already noting an improvement in air quality over the past 20 years, however, there is a lot of work that still needs to be done in order to save lives around the globe.