On Thursday October 17, 2013, the World Health Organization’s cancer agency officially classified the air around us as carcinogenic to humans. The International Agency for Research on Cancer indicated that in 2010, about 223,000 deaths worldwide resulted from just lung cancer alone due to air pollution. Depending on how much pollution people are exposed to in different parts of the world, the risk is similar to breathing in second-hand smoke. Air pollution has also been found to raise the risk level of respiratory and heart diseases. China is of particular concern, as it is currently going through significant industrial growth and has large amounts of badly controlled air pollution. However, high exposure is found also in others parts of Asia, eastern North America, some places in Central America and Mexico, as well as North Africa. Some scientists hope that the United Nations and the World Health Organization will revise their recommendations on public health in regards to polluted air.
– Sean Sabogal –