Air pollution is giving commuters lung cancer, a medical research group and the World Health Organization said Thursday.
The International Agency for Research on Cancers (IARC), in conjunction with WHO, said that when it comes to cancer, it now considers air pollution to be even more dangerous than smoking, the Associated Press reports.
The IARC has previously determined some components of air pollution, like diesel fumes, to be carcinogens. But now they are classifying air pollution as a whole to be cancer-causing. Though the risk of contracting cancer from air pollution alone is low, the main sources of pollution are omnipresent and difficult to avoid — transportation, power plants, industrial emissions and agricultural emissions among them.
Air pollution is already known to increase the likelihood of heart and respiratory disease. The new conclusion could prompt governments to embrace stricter laws to limit air pollution.