New report reveals pollution linked to 10% of cancer cases in Europe

Edited By: Vyomica Berry
Brussels, Belgium Updated: Jun 28, 2022, 09:09 AM(IST)

By the year 2030, India could be releasing anywhere from 35 to 40 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent Photograph:( AFP )

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

A new report by the European Environment Agency (EEA) has revealed that pollution is linked to more than 10 per cent of cancer cases in Europe.

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

Europe reports almost a quarter of new cancer cases and a fifth of deaths even though it accounts for less than 10 per cent of the world's population.

The EEA said in its report that air pollution is linked to around one percent of all cancer cases in Europe, and causes around two percent of all cancer deaths.

The report, which is the agency's first on the link between cancer and the environment, highlights that "all environmental and occupational cancer risks can be reduced," according to EEA expert Gerardo Sanchez.

While UV radiation may be responsible for up to four percent of all cancer cases in Europe, indoor exposure to radon is linked to up to two percent of all cancer cases, and one in ten lung cancer cases in the continent.

Warning that some chemicals used in European workplaces contribute to causing cancer, the agency said exposure to second-hand smoke may increase the overall risk for all cancers by up to 16 percent for people who have never been smokers.

Asbestos, a well-known carcinogen, which was banned in 2005 by the EU, it is still present in some buildings and is estimated to account for 55 to 88 per cent of occupational lung cancers. 

"Environmental and occupational cancer risks can be reduced by cleaning up pollution and changing behaviours," the agency said. 

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

(With inputs from agencies)

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