Air pollution is a major cause of cancer

It seems that not only is air pollution ugly, and generally bad for our health, but now it has been confirmed as a significant cause of cancer.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the World Health Organisation (WHO) yesterday announced that outdoor air pollution is a “leading cause of cancer in humans”. The SMH article is here.

WHO’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) says there is “sufficient evidence” that air pollution causes lung cancer, and increases the risk of bladder cancer, in addition to raising the risk of respiratory and heart diseases.

The IARC reviewed a range of studies of the effects of air pollution on humans, in order to reach these conclusions, and cites “transport, power generation, emissions from factories and farms, and residential heating and cooking” as the main sources of air pollution.

This is a particularly interesting, and worrying, announcement, as the chemicals that we’re releasing into our atmosphere are having increasingly detrimental impacts on our health. When the leading international health organisation cites air pollution as one of the main causes of cancer, as well as other serious diseases, surely we must be looking at ways to reduce it?

At a time where there are global concerns about climate change, and many governments and organisations are looking at ways to cut carbon emissions to slow down global warming, it is clear that this WHO announcement is yet another reason to do so. Using greener transport options, renewable energies, and cleaner industrial practices would all not only reduce carbon emissions, which could slow human-induced global warming, but they would decrease air pollution, eliminating a range of chemicals that contaminate our air, and reducing the number of cancer deaths, respiratory illnesses, and incidences of heart disease globally.

Reducing the pollutants that we pump into the air is not only good for our planet, but it is good for us.


7 Aqua, the blog post above is my response to an article I found yesterday about air pollution.

Your task is to write your first blog post in response to an article that deals with an environmental issue. It may be the article that you read in class on Wednesday, or it may be another article that you have found since.

Your post should be around 300 words, and should include:

  • a title that refers to the issue in your article
  • a summary of the main message of the article. You should concisely summarise the article in your own words, but you may include some direct quotes from the article to complete your summary (see my post above)
  • your personal response to the article – do you agree or disagree? Is there anything that we (humans, Australians, individuals) could do to address the issue? Should we address the issue? Does the article support or conflict with other views you have?

Note: You may or may not choose to use first person, as we discussed in class. You will note that my personal opinion comes through this post, without using first person, but as the blog form is personal and reflective, you may choose to write in first person to convey your opinion. That is perfectly acceptable.

Your post will need to be done by our next English lesson, which is on Monday (21 October). Remember that your comments on your classmates’ posts are also valued.

I’m looking forward to reading your posts!

3 thoughts on “Air pollution is a major cause of cancer

  1. Pingback: Class blogging: a new frontier | Exploring the Classroom ~ Lisa Edwards

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