Study: Air Pollution Increases Chances Of Breast Cancer By 45%, Prostate Cancer By Up To 28%

GIGO: Garbage in garbage out. This is just a meta analysis and the conclusions of such are only as good as the research reports surveyed. And air pollution studies are notorious for poor design leading to unsafe conclusions. I have critiqued many of them. The claims below can safely be regarded as not proven

Long-term exposure to air pollution significantly increases the chances of developing various forms of cancer, a study has claimed.

The findings of the study, which are yet to be published, have been accessed by the Daily Mail. It claims that air pollution can enhance the risk of getting breast cancer by 45 per cent and prostate cancer by between 20 and 28 per cent.

The experts reviewed as many as 27 studies for their analysis, and found that the risk of dying from breast cancer also increases by 80 per cent among people who are exposed to air pollution as opposed to those who are not.

The study said that long-term exposure to PM 2.5 can cause damage to the DNA, thereby, increasing the risk of getting cancer.

PM 2.5 are tiny particles in the air that can enter the lungs and bloodstream. The PM 2.5 limit set by the World Health Organization is 5 ?g/m3. However, most countries have failed to meet the WHO-prescribed limits.

"PM 2.5 also disrupts glands throughout the body that produce hormones. This is a particular concern for breast and prostate cancer which can be driven by hormones," per an excerpt from the study.

Air pollution was also found to be linked with a more aggressive disease and a poorer prognosis.

What do other studies claim?

The finding is mirrored by similar studies conducted over the years. A study published in the Lancet revealed that pollution caused approximately 9 million premature deaths worldwide in 2019. It included countries like China, the US, and many African and European countries.

While another study claimed that air pollution caused by fossil fuels is killing 5 million people every year across the world.

According to the World Health Organization, air pollution is responsible for about 7 million premature deaths every year. It adds that the disease burden due to air pollution is now estimated to be on par with other major global health risks.

In some cases, extremely tiny air pollution particles can even cross the blood-brain barrier and damage the neurons directly. However, Particulate Matter (PM) 2.5 has especially become a major cause of concern for authorities across the globe since it is so small that it can penetrate deep into the lungs.

Air pollution can even affect your sleep. In 2017, a study was conducted in the United States to assess if it is linked with bad sleep. It was measured at one year and five years into the study. The participants also wore a wrist monitor to measure their movements during sleep.

It looked at the effects of nitrogen dioxide and PM2.5 on sleep and found that people who were exposed to the most nitrogen dioxide in the past five years had a 60% increased risk of sleeping poorly. People exposed to the most PM 2.5 had an almost 50% increased risk of sleeping poorly.

Various forms of cancer continue to claim millions of lives globally every year. It is the second leading cause of death globally, accounting for an estimated 9.6 million deaths in 2018.

Between 2016 and 2018 in the UK, more than half of new cases of cancer were breast, prostate, lung or bowel cancer. Every two minutes someone in the UK is diagnosed with cancer, says the data provided by Cancer Research UK.

However, breast cancer is the most common form of cancer, with around 47,000 people being diagnosed with the disease each year in England alone. Every year, around 56,000 women are diagnosed with the disease in the UK—around 150 women a day. Some 400 men in the UK are also diagnosed with breast cancer each year.


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