The World Health Organization reported that air pollution may be filled with substances that can cause cancer.
The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) presented its findings in a report that 223,000 deaths in 2010 were caused by lung cancer brought by global air pollution. But the agency found there was no proof that air pollution contributes to bladder cancer risks.
Beijing's air pollution returns to 'hazardous' levels, two weeks after record readings of small particles in the air sparked a public outcry (Reuters)
Kurt Straif, IARC head, said the risk of having cancer is similar to a person breathing in second-hand smoke from cigarettes. This also involves exposure to contaminated air in various parts of the world.
Air pollution mostly comes from transportation, agricultural and industrial emissions, power generation, heating and cooking. Air pollution has earlier been found to increase the risk of cardiovascular and respiratory diseases.
Prolonged exposure to air contaminants can affect the development of human body systems and put people at the risk of cancer.
Several findings of other air pollution-related studies had indicated the damaging effects of diesel exhaust. Air pollution caused by the fumes released in combustion may have significant effects to the cardiovascular airways when exposed after 24 hours. It may lead the airways to develop an inflammation and bring negative effects to the respiratory system.
Children who are living in air-polluted areas are five times more likely to have lower lung infection.
A new study conducted by the Children's Health Study suggested that air particulates from vehicle emissions and fossil fuels decrease the breathing capacity of a child for a lifetime and prevent lung development.
Children spend much of their time playing outdoors while most adults are inside their offices and homes most of the time. Results of a Children's Health Study showed that children take in more air per unit body weight at a given level of exertion than the adults. If a child exerts more effort in his or her daily activities, he or she breathes in more air pollution. The harmful particles that they inhale may affect or damage their lungs in the long run.
The IARC research findings also suggested exposure to levels to air pollution has increased in some countries like China, which has a large population and undergoing rapid industrialization.
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