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The report, titled ‘Beating Cancer – the role of Europe’s environment’ is based on scientific research from across the continent. Its conclusions add to the growing concerns about the serious impact pollution can have on your health. Deaths from air pollution alone are estimated to kill around 7 million people globally per year, with up to 36,000 deaths in the UK.
Different types of pollution cause cancer
The EEA’s report looked at different types of pollution to reach its findings. When considering cancer cases caused by exposure to pollution it found that:
- Indoor and outdoor air pollution causes 1% of all European cancer cases and 2% of all European cancer deaths.
- Air pollution causes 9% of all lung cancer deaths.
- Asbestos exposure is estimated to account for up to 88% of occupational lung cancers.
- Chemicals including lead, arsenic and pesticides that are released into the atmosphere from workplaces can be highly carcinogenic (cancer causing).
- The risk of cancer can be up to 16% higher in those exposed to second-hand smoke, even if they don’t smoke.
Cutting the number of pollution deaths
Attempts are being made to reduce and prevent pollution for both environmental and health reasons across the world. The EEA’s report suggests that Europe’s ‘Zero Pollution Action Plan’ will cut the number of pollution deaths.
In Britain, a new clean air law was recently proposed in Parliament. It’s been named ‘Ella’s law’ after 9-year-old Ella Kissi-Debrah, whose 2013 death from asthma was found to be connected to air pollution. The law would establish a legal right to clean air.
How Novum Law can help
“This report makes for highly concerning reading. Air pollution is a major environmental risk affecting people’s health throughout the world and is a known cause of cancer, in particular lung cancer. With global leaders now promising to tackle the climate crisis and protect the planet’s health, now is the time for greater action to tackle air pollution once and for all. The steps proposed in the report, as well as ‘Ella’s law’, will go some way to ensure that people are better protected against pollution, and I hope to see them implemented fully.”
If you or a family member is suffering from a respiratory condition, cancer, or other illness that you think may have been caused by exposure to pollution, whether at work or elsewhere, Novum Law’s specialist team might be able to help on a ‘No Win, No Fee’ basis.