Report: 10% of Cancer Cases in Europe are Linked to Pollution

Published on: 28 June 2022
by KnowESG
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According to a survey by the European Environment Agency, pollution is linked to almost 10% of cancer cases in Europe. It also stated that the majority of these cases are preventable.

“Exposure to air pollution, carcinogenic chemicals, radon, UV (ultraviolet) radiation, and second-hand smoke together may contribute over 10 per cent of the cancer burden in Europe," the agency said in a statement.

But EEA expert Gerardo Sanchez said, “All environmental and occupational cancer risks can be reduced".

He told journalists last week, before the release of the report, the agency’s first on the link between cancer and the environment, "Environmentally determined cancers due to radiation or chemical carcinogens can be reduced to an almost negligible level."

2.7 million people in the European Union are diagnosed with cancer each year, and 1.3 million die from it.

Less than 10 per cent of the world's population resides on the continent, which reports about a quarter of new cases and a fifth of deaths.

According to the organisation, air pollution is associated with approximately one per cent of all cancer cases in Europe and causes approximately two per cent of all cancer deaths.

Up to two per cent of all cancer cases and one in ten lung cancer cases in Europe are associated with indoor radon exposure.

According to the organisation, natural UV radiation may be responsible for up to four per cent of all cancer cases in Europe.

Exposure to secondhand smoke may increase the incidence of all cancers in nonsmokers by up to 16 per cent, according to the study.

The organisation cautioned that several chemicals used in European workplaces, including lead, arsenic, chromium, cadmium, acrylamide, and pesticides, contribute to the development of cancer.

It is estimated that asbestos, a well-known carcinogen, is responsible for 55 to 88 per cent of occupational lung cancers. The EU prohibited asbestos in 2005, but it is still present in some buildings, and renovation and demolition workers continue to be exposed, according to the agency.

“Environmental and occupational cancer risks can be reduced by cleaning up pollution and changing behaviours," it added.

“Decreasing these risks will lead to a fall in the numbers of cancer cases and deaths."

Source: News 18

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