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WHO agency: Air pollution causes cancer
London (AP) - What many commuters choking on smog have long suspected has finally been scientifically validated: air pollution causes lung cancer.
The International Agency for Research on Cancer declared on Thursday that air pollution is a carcinogen, alongside known dangers such as asbestos, tobacco and ultraviolet radiation. The decision came after a consultation by an expert panel organized by IARC, the cancer agency of the World Health Organization, which is based in Lyon, France.
"We consider this to be the most important environmental carcinogen, more so than passive smoking," said Kurt Straif, head of the IARC department that evaluates cancer-causing substances.
IARC had previously deemed some of the components in air pollution such as diesel fumes to be carcinogens, but this is the first time it has classified air pollution in its entirety as cancer causing.
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