The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) confirmed that outside air pollution is a cause of cancer. Tiny dust-like particles millionths of a metre wide, called ‘particulate matter’, make up a part of outside air pollution. So, the smallest particles known as PM10 and PM2.5 link to lung cancers caused by pollution.
Increase risk of cancer if we live close to any major roads
We all want to live close to the city with direct access to roads. But, is it safe? Residing near a busy road may damage your child’s lung growth. It may also put us to cancer risk.
Living within 50 metres of a major road may increase your risk of developing lung cancer by 10 percent. A new report written by King’s College London has found. The report was released by a coalition of fifteen health and environment NGOs, including ClientEarth, the British Lung Foundation, and the UK Health Alliance on Climate Change which represents 650,000 health professionals in the NHS.
The levels of recorded roadside air pollution stunt lung growth in children by approximately 14 percent in Oxford. 13 percent in London, 8 percent in Birmingham, 5 percent in Bristol, 5 percent in Liverpool. 3 percent in Nottingham and 4 percent in Southampton. One third of Londoners – around 3 million people – live near a busy road.
Ahead of the General Election on 12 December, the group is calling for all political parties to commit to adopting a legally-binding target. To meet World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines for particulate matter pollution by 2030 and take steps to immediately reduce illegal air pollution across the UK.
The existing UK legal limits for particulate matter pollution (PM2.5) are still more than double the WHO guideline levels.
To date, none of the political parties have committed to meet the guidelines by 2030. The fear is that without a clear deadline and timetable, many more people will die and face debilitating health conditions.
The group are also urging the introduction of a national network of Clean Air Zones across the UK.
London’s own clean air zone, the Ultra Low Emissions Zone, launched earlier this year has already had an impact on reducing air pollution.
Masking for Prevention
Sadly, these days, the air quality is adverse and prolonged breathing outdoors may cause respiratory diseases or increase the chances of lung cancer. To battle with the particles present in the thick blanket of smog, one must wear specially designed anti-pollution masks as a safety precaution. These masks can provide protection against smog, dust, vehicular pollution and other air-borne particulars. One should choose a mask that filters out PM2.5, fits over one’s face and should ensure that the mask covers the nose, mouth and chin properly.
We are all responsible for taking adequate measures to protect ourselves from the rising pollution level of air pollution and health hazard. By living a life in a less toxic way possible, we can avoid sacrificing our health to a contaminated environment.