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10/16/2013 // West Palm Beach, Florida, US // JusticeNewsFlash // Justice News Flash // (press release)
Switzerland – Air pollution has been declared a carcinogen by the cancer agency of the World Health Organization. As reported by the Associated Press (AP), the International Agency for Research on Cancer made the declaration on Thursday, placing air pollution in the category alongside other known carcinogens like tobacco and asbestos.
Kurt Straif, head of the IARC department that evaluates cancer-causing substances, is quoted by the AP as stating of the recent decision, “We consider this to be the most important environmental carcinogen, more so than passive smoking.”
As noted in the report, this is the first time the IARC has made the classification of air pollution in its entirety being cancer causing. The agency previously categorized some air pollution components as carcinogens.
Francesca Dominici, a professor of biostatics at Harvard University’s School of Public Health, who is not connected to the expert panel of the IRAC, is quoted as stating of future efforts to reduce pollution, “The level of ambient pollution in the U.S. is much, much lower than it used to be, but we still find evidence of cancer and birth defects… The question is: How are we going to clean the air even further?”
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