Air pollution could be causing thousands of deaths in the UK each year, according to an European-wide study.
Living close to a main road could be bad for your health
The UK has been urged to clean up its air quality as there is a substantial risk of becoming ill, sometimes leading to death.
The study, which was funded by the British Heart Foundation (BHF), has been in The Lancet Oncology and analysed patient data in 17 European cohorts from nine different countries.
The government recently admitted the air quality limits set by the European Union have been breached in 15 regions in Great Britain and will continue to do so until 2020.
The research found that air pollution contributes to lung cancer incidence in Europe. Researchers investigated data from more than 300,000 patients, 2,095 of which developed lung cancer over the study period of around 13 years.
Addresses of patients and their respective air pollution were monitored to conclude that living within 100m to intense road traffic was associated with an increased risk of lung cancer.
Lung cancer has one of the lowest cancer survival rates in the UK and kills an estimated 35,000 people a year, according to Cancer Research UK.
The scientists found that different particular matters that attached themselves to the lungs were responsible and the most lethal of these comes from the exhaust of buses, lorries and taxis.
Dr Takashi Yorifuji from Okayama University said in the journal: “At this stage, we might have to add air pollution, even at current concentrations, to the list of causes of lung cancer and recognise that air pollution has large effects on public health.”
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