Traffic fumes may increase risk of lung cancer

10 July 2013

Exposure to traffic fumes could increase risk of lung cancer, according to new healthcare research published in The Lancet Oncology journal. As a result of the findings, scientists are calling for air pollution to labelled as carcinogenic.

Expert Dr Takashi Yorifuji from Okayama University in Japan said: “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.”

Researchers found that sooty particles in the air released through diesel exhaust lodge in the lungs and noticeably increase chances of developing cancer. As such, greater exposure diesel fumes ups risk of the disease.

Lead researcher Dr Ole Raaschou-Nielsen said: “We found no threshold below which there was no risk. The results showed a picture that ‘the more the worse, the less the better’.”

Traffic fumes have also been linked with heart problems, increased risk of heart failure and higher rates of hospitalisation. Heart failure currently affects 750,000 people in the UK.

Posted by Philip Briggs

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