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WHO Cancer Agency Classifies Air Pollution As Carcinogen

“The International Agency for Research on Cancer [IARC] declared on Thursday that air pollution is a carcinogen, alongside known dangers such as asbestos, tobacco and ultraviolet radiation,” the Associated Press reports. “The decision came after a consultation by an expert panel organized by IARC, the cancer agency of the [WHO], which is based in Lyon, France,” the news agency writes (Cheng, 10/17). “The air we breathe is laced with cancer-causing substances and should now be classified as carcinogenic to humans, the [cancer agency] said on Thursday …, cit[ing] data indicating that in 2010, 223,000 deaths from lung cancer worldwide resulted from air pollution,” according to Reuters. The agency said “there was also convincing evidence it increases the risk of bladder cancer,” the news agency states (Kelland, 10/17). “The problem is global, but people in developing countries with large populations and booming manufacturing sectors with few pollution controls are said to be particularly at risk,” according to CNN (Brumfield, 10/17). “The WHO said the classification should act as a strong message to governments to take action,” BBC News adds (10/17).