(CTN News) _ University College London and the Francis Crick Institute found that air pollution can cause lung cancer in people who don’t smoke.
An analysis of roughly half a million people living in England, South Korea and Taiwan found that higher exposure to air pollution particles increased the risk of developing non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), which is caused by mutations in the EGFR gene.
This study sheds new light on the dangers of air pollution. The main cause of NSCLC is smoking, but air pollution has long been considered another risk factor.
Globally, NSCLC kills 250,000 people each year.
According to Charles Swanton, a lead study author and chief clinician at Francis Crick Institute and Cancer Research UK, the risk of lung cancer is lower from air pollution than from smoking.
“Globally, more people are exposed to unsafe levels of air pollution than to toxic chemicals in cigarette smoke, and these new data show why climate health is important for human health,” Swanton said.
A major gathering of health care researchers and representatives from around the world gathered in Paris on Saturday to present the research.
Low-income communities and people of color are disproportionately affected by air pollution.
According to a study published last month, even a slight increase in nitrogen dioxide levels in the air can increase the cost of healthcare.
It suggests that air pollution promotes lung cancer initiation in cells harboring driver gene mutations more quickly than when they aren’t exposed to pollutants,” Swanton says. SEE Also: