Air pollution is even more dangerous than smoking in terms of causing cancer, according to 2013 conclusions from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the International Agency for Research on Cancers (IARC). Outdoor air pollution as a whole is considered a carcinogen more harmful than cigarette smoking because of the unavoidable nature of breathing in polluted air on a regular basis from sources such as power plants, transportation, and agricultural and industrial emissions. Air pollution caused approximately 3.2 million deaths in 2010, including 223,000 from lung cancer, according to estimates from WHO.
More about air pollution:
- Pregnant women exposed to high levels of air pollution were found to be 22% more likely to have premature babies, according to a research study of European women from 1994 through 2011.
- WHO estimates that about 25% of all stroke deaths worldwide are attributed to indoor air pollution, such as burning solid fuels indoors for heat or cooking.
- Over 65,000 Americans are estimated to have heart attacks or other cardiac events as a result of exposure to air pollution, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).