Monday, November 07, 2011

Non-smokers’ risk of lung cancer tied to air pollution

Smoking is still the highest risk factor
for lung cancer, but air pollution may
be a factor.
If you never smoked, your risk of lung cancer should be much lower, right?

Well, it is, but another factor could be living in a highly polluted area, according to a new study by Harvard School of Public Health.

If you are exposed to air pollution, you have a 20% higher risk of dying from lung cancer, the study shows.

Smoking still remains the primary cause of lung cancer, but there are still 1 in 10 people who never smoked that develop lung cancer – and air pollution may have something to do with it.

Polluted air and smog expose people to fine particles, which can penetrate deep into the lungs, cause irritation and inflammation and may be a risk factor for lung cancer.

The study followed more than 180,000 non-smokers for 26 years in the United States and Puerto Rico. About 1,100 participants died from lung cancer during that time.

The researchers used their zip codes to determine the levels of pollution.

Air pollution is often seen in the form
of smog.
Overall air pollution levels dropped over the time of the study period, but it remained a major factor in a person’s risk of developing lung cancer.

While the study didn’t prove a direct causation, evidence is there that exposure to fine particles raises cardiopulmonary mortality, the researchers told Reuters.

Other studies have also linked exposure to wood smoke indoors and vehicle exhaust outside to increased risk of lung cancer.

Source: Reuters

Protect yourself from chemicals and gases indoors

Outdoor air pollution is bad for you – but indoor air can be five times as polluted, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

You can improve your indoor air quality by avoiding common source of pollution:
  • Don’t smoke indoors
  • Use natural cleaning agents
  • Avoid scented products and “air fresheners”
  • Use a portable air purifier in the room(s) you spend most time in

AllerAir has designed highly efficient air purifiers that do more than just remove dust, pollen and biological contaminants from the air.

That’s because their comprehensive filtration system not only contains HEPA for particles and pathogens, it also contains a deep-bed activated carbon filter for the removal of chemicals, odors and gases and the option of UV germicidal filtration to neutralize bacteria, viruses and molds.

Contact AllerAir for more information and additional features and options.