|This lil' bug may just save your life. Source: Danrok|
This is not the only study linking air pollution to cancer. In 2012, the IARC confirmed that diesel exhaust does cause cancer. In the USA alone, diesel fuel use causes over 50,000 deaths every year, and it's nowhere near as dirty as the diesel used in other countries! This doesn't just include cancer, but also emphysema, bronchitis, heart disease and severe asthma attacks. There is also a link between acute lymphocytic leukaemia (ALL) and living close to oil and gas wells. On the other hand, when air quality regulations in California caused the level of diesel pollution to drop by 68%, the risk of developing cancers from the toxins in diesel dropped by three quarters! Cancer incidence in general has declined in the USA too, due in no small part to "personal" air pollution, i.e. smoking, falling out of fashion. While 451 per 100,000 is still too many, the age-adjusted cancer rate was 511 per 100,000 in 1992, when incidence peaked. So when someone develops cancer, it may not be all their fault. It may be society's responsibility to clean up the world, so we can all live long, healthy lives, and make what diseases that would remain easier to treat.