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Pollution around Cities Increases Risk of Cancer

Wednesday, July 01, 2009 by: Ingela Johansson
Tags: pollution, health news, Natural News

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(NewsTarget) According to the latest estimates from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), people who live around larger cities face an increased risk of developing cancer.

The report National-Scale Air Toxics Assessment (NATA) is based on the air pollution data from 2002. It is meant to help federal, state, local and tribal governments identify areas and different pollutants so that they may better understand the risks they may pose. The study assessed 181 air toxics, of which 80 were known to cause cancer and other serious health problems like birth defects. The report concluded that 25 percent of all air toxin cancer risks are from industry emissions, 30 percent are from mobile pollutions, and 45 percent are from background toxics with unknown emission sources.

More than 2 million people, mostly residents around large cities such as New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, face an increased risk of cancer because of air pollution. According to the report, the risk in such areas is increased to over 100 in 1 million compared to the national average of 36 in 1 million. In one neighborhood, situated between two highways, outside of Los Angeles, the EPA estimated the risk of cancer to be over 1,200 in 1 million. "Large cities appear to carry greater cancer risk because of a higher volume of cars, trucks, construction equipment, gas stations, and in some cases, dry cleaners," David Guinnup, PhD, the lead EPA scientist told WebMD. Large cities weren't the only ones with pollution problems; regions like northern Mississippi and southern Kentucky, both of which have chemical industries, were also estimated to exceed a risk of 100 in 1 million.

There are also states which have a lower cancer risk, like Wyoming, Nebraska, Montana and the Dakotas. "Air toxic risks are local. They are a function of the sources nearest to you," says David Guinnup to HealthNews. "If you are out in the Rocky Mountains, you are going to be closer to 2 in a million. If you are in an industrial area with a lot of traffic, you are going to closer to 1100 in 1 million."

The estimates are based on the assumption that people are exposed to the same amount of pollution constantly their whole lives, and it doesn't account for rises or drops in risk when citizens move around the country. The average estimate of 36 in 1 million is actually a drop since the last estimate in 2006, where the number was 41.5 in 1 million.

Sources:
http://www.webmd.com/cancer/news/20090625/ep...
http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/environm...
http://yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/d0c...
http://www.healthnews.com/family-health/wher...



About the author

Ingela loves to learn about natural health. She also likes to write about natural muscle building, natural skin care, and anti aging.

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