WHO Officially Declares Air Pollution a Carcinogen

in Blog

News coming out of the International Agency for Research on Cancer, the World Health Organization’s branch devoted to cancer research, declared this week that air pollution is now classified as a carcinogen.  For those who may not be familiar with the phrase “carcinogen” this news of air pollution being labeled as such may not come as an alarm, but those do understand the phrase and all of its attached meanings are very concerned.medium_261718673

A carcinogen is anything that causes the formation of cancer in the human body.  To give a more shocking definition, other substances and materials such as tobacco smoke, ultraviolet radiation, asbestos and others have been given the same label of a carcinogenetic substance.

The news has come as no surprise to many who make long commutes in urban areas, but the fact that air pollution has now been shown to induce the risk of lung cancer cannot come without some fear on the part of every individual.  Because unlike some carcinogens, ordinary citizens cannot avoid the air that they breath.

While an individual can choose not to smoke, for example, that does not mean that they are still not at risk of incurring lung cancer due to the polluted air they are breathing.  With the World Health Organization now deeming air pollution as a cancer-inducer, there are many private citizens and environmental groups who are now, more than ever before, approaching their local and state governments with pleas  and demands for cleaner, safer air.

photo credit: Ben Amstutz via photopin cc

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