World Health Organization says air pollution is a leading cause of cancer deaths

By Casey Frye, CCNN Writer

air pollution
Is there a sky somewhere in all that polluted blackness?

Recently, the European Environment Agency reported air pollution levels in the UK are so high, it’s making the air harmful to the health of citizens. Unfortunately, the rest of the world may soon know what that feels like, because the World Health Organization (WHO) officially determined air around the globe is so bad, it’s a leading cause of cancer deaths.

Heck, it’s so dangerous that WHO estimates 223,000 people worldwide died from lung cancer as a result of breathing the air in 2010 alone! “The predominant sources of outdoor air pollution are transportation, stationary power generation, industrial, and agricultural emissions, and residential heating and cooking,” said WHO’s cancer research wing, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).

Whats worse, is that as air pollution levels continue to rise, so will the number of deaths. Individuals living in developing countries with very few rules to regulate pollution are especially at risk.

Nooooo! We can’t have that! Is there any way to stop all this madness? Yes, but only one: we have to clean up our act act and purify the air. According to  Dr. Christopher Wild, director of the IARC, “There are effective ways to reduce air pollution and, given the scale of the exposure affecting people worldwide, this report should send a strong signal to the international community to take action without further delay.”

Well, I guess it’s time we start planting more trees and opting out of a car ride for a healthy walk home!

Featured image courtesy of servus on Flickr. Image of electrical lines courtesy of Adam Cohn on Flickr.