Friday, November 18, 2011

The link between chemicals, air pollution and cancer

Researchers are studying lifestyle factors
and chemical exposure as cancer risks.
Cancer incidence is on the rise – and cancer might even surpass heart disease as the world’s leading cause of death, the World Health Organization says.

According to, cancer is the only major cause of death that has continued to rise since 1900.

Trying to explain the cause, researchers are increasingly turning to environmental factors as worthy study objects.

A 240-page report based on hundreds of other studies entitled “Reducing Environmental Cancer Risk: What We Can Do Now” placed part of the blame to our exposure to chemicals, pollution and radiation.

According to the report, 41 percent of Americans will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lives and 21 percent are likely to die from it.

Numerous studies have linked chemical exposure to a higher risk of cancer, but the medical community is nevertheless divided since it is so difficult to establish a clear link between exposure to certain chemicals and serious health effects later on.

Personal lifestyle factors like smoking, obesity, excessive alcohol intake and overexposure to sunlight (read sunburns) certainly play a role, but no one can deny that our reliance on chemicals and the effect on public health warrant a closer look.

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