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The Big Answer


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Cancer, as it relates to pollution

an article by our site

Percent distribution of the 10 leading causes of death, by sex: United States, 2009, men

Percent distribution of the 10 leading causes of death, by sex: United States, 2009, women

Nearly a third of the cancer deaths in the pie charts above were from lung cancer. In 2009:
(source: U.S. Cancer Statistics Working Group. United States Cancer Statistics: 1999–2009 Incidence and Mortality Web-based Report. Atlanta (GA): Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and National Cancer Institute; 2013)

More yearly deaths are caused by tobacco use than by all deaths from HIV, illegal drug use, alcohol use, motor vehicle injuries, suicides, and murders combined
More yearly deaths are caused by tobacco use than by all deaths from HIV, illegal drug use, alcohol use, motor vehicle injuries, suicides, and murders combined

From 2000 to 2009 in the United States, deaths from lung cancer have decreased significantly by 2.3% per year among men and decreased significantly by 0.7% per year among women, but cancer rates have been going up for those over 85 years old for the entire period 1950 to 2010.

Cigarette smoking accounts for an estimated 443,000 deaths, or nearly one of every five deaths, each year in the U.S.
Cigarette smoking accounts for an estimated 443,000 deaths, or nearly one of every five deaths, each year in the U.S.

“Studies in the United States, Europe, and Asia have suggested that air pollution from traffic and the combustion of coal, diesel fuel, and wood, has a modest association with lung cancer risk. In a 2009 U.S. study, it was estimated that 5% of male lung cancers and 3% of lung cancers in women between 1970 and 1994 were related to air pollution. One study looking at urban air pollution in Europe suggests that the risk may be higher, with up to 10.7% of lung cancer cases considered related to exposure to air pollution.” (Source: Does Air Pollution Cause Lung Cancer?)

Up to 10.7% of lung cancer cases are considered related to exposure to air pollution
Up to 10.7% of lung cancer cases are considered related to exposure to air pollution

Scientists believe that environmental factors are behind much lung disease, especially toxic wastes and the continued poor air quality in U.S. cities. The residents of Altgeld Gardens in Chicago are surrounded by landfills, a chemical waste incinerator, and piles of loose trash. These living conditions have affected the health of the community. In 1984, a study by Illinois Public Health Sector revealed excessive rates of prostate, bladder, and lung cancer. (Source: Environmental racism)

Being near landfills, chemical waste incinerators, or trashpiles can be hazardous to your health
Being near landfills, chemical waste incinerators, or trashpiles can be hazardous to your health