Does Air Pollution Cause Cancer?

By | February 17, 2021
Does Air Pollution Cause Cancer

Air pollution is related to the outcome of cancer. The tiny dust particles and substances in the air are linked with cancer.

The air pollution levels are higher in towns and cities due to the increasing number of vehicles on road. The impact of outdoor air pollution is more on the individual.

People can’t just avoid going outside to avert air pollution and its adverse effects. The level of air pollution can be reduced by taking active travel options such as cycling and walking. By reducing the use of vehicle the air pollution will also reduce.

Cancer may be caused due to outdoor air pollution or indoor air pollution. Outdoor air pollution arises due to vehicles, fumes from factory and other factors, and indoor pollution arise from solid fuels or second-hand smoking.

It has been found that smoking causes many health issues and cancer. To carry out their jobs one has to go outside and it just can’t be avoided. The government takes many steps to enhance better air quality.

But as an individual and being a responsible citizen one can play a vital role in reducing air pollution.

The risk factors for air pollution

Cancer is connected with pollution and a new study suggests that it increases mortality risk for many different types of cancer, such as breast, pancreatic, and liver cancer, etc. 

Air pollution also increases the risk of lung cancer and may also affect the gut microbiota and may develop cancer.

It has been found that pollution may spark defects in DNA repair function, inflammation that triggers angiogenesis, new blood vessel growth that allows the spread of tumors.

Cancer may be caused due to prolonged exposure to air pollution. The factors responsible for air pollution are traffic, industry smoke, power generation, domestic burning, and worsening of wildfires.

All of them are responsible for creating health risks. Air pollution is a cancer-promoting agent and is associated with lung cancer, breast cancer, bladder cancer, and some other types of cancer. Wildfire smoke is one of the reasons to cause cancer.

Steps to be taken to prevent inhalation of polluted air

When the air quality deteriorates it is better to take preventive measures to avoid health risks as air pollution is associated with cancer and other diseases. To prevent inhalation of polluted air following steps may be taken until the quality of air improves.

  • Avoid outdoor exercises.
  • Stop cigarette smoking. It is a leading reason for causing cancer.
  • Reduce the use of a car or try to use alternative energy cars.
  • Avoid wood stove use or household burning of solid fuels.
  • Do not burn trash, leaves, and other materials.
  • Avoid going outside unless needed.

The existence of numerous types of air pollutants is harmful to humans and the one that influences cancer risk is particulate matter.

Air pollution is responsible for an estimated 7 million deaths worldwide per year. Air pollution causes around seven million premature deaths every year due to increased mortality from heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, stroke, lung cancer, and acute respiratory infections.

An estimated 3.8 million deaths occur each year due to household exposure to fuels and smoke from dirty cookstoves, around 4.2 million deaths per year due to exposure to ambient air pollution.

Air pollution is found to cause long-term damage to the brain, nerves, liver, kidneys, and other organs. The ambient air pollution plays a vital role in oxidative stress, DNA damage in tissues, chronic systemic inflammation.

A positive association has been established between air pollution and lung cancer, breast cancer, cervical cancer, upper digestive tract cancer, etc. Air pollution has been a long concern for causing adverse health effects.  

A worldwide initiative is being taken to improve the quality of the air to reduce health-related issues. The increase in the number of cars and different vehicles and industrial emissions is a major problem in urban areas. Even indoor tobacco smoking is responsible for increasing cancer cases.

The vehicles that run on petrol and diesel are found to increase the risk of cancer. It is better to use electrical or solar vehicles to reduce air pollution and increase the quality of air.

If everyone gets responsible then the health problems arising from air pollution can be minimized.

Many awareness programs are conducted to increase awareness of reducing air pollution. The health hazards associated with air pollution are huge.

The impact of air pollution on breast cancer

Breast cancer is a major concern worldwide. Air pollution is found to increase the risk of breast cancer. But more studies need to be carried out on the relationship between pollution and cancer before anything can be said with certainty.

One of the risk factors for breast cancer is air pollution. The risk of breast cancer has been associated with the levels of nitrogen dioxide and nitrogen oxides, both of them are proxies for traffic exposure.

Important Facts

Air pollution increases the risk of cancer. It even increases the mortality rate of different types of cancer. A strong correlation is found between air pollution and cancer.

Cancer mortality is related to long-term exposure to air pollution. Air pollutants cause an adverse effect on health. There are many other factors of air pollution like traffic, domestic unhealthy coal or wood stove, industry emissions, tobacco smoking, etc.

Tobacco smokers have a higher risk of cancer. The passive smokers too have a risk of cancer. With time the number of vehicles and industries has increased and along with it air pollution. Exposure to solid fuel burning smoke increases the risk of cancer.

Poor outdoor and indoor air quality is responsible for causing cancer. The rapid increase in industrialization leads to smoggy skies which deteriorate the air quality.

A little awareness among people can aid in reducing air pollution and enhance the quality of air. Air pollution is a global concern and worldwide initiatives are taken to reduce its impact.

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