According to a research released by the European Environment Agency on Tuesday, pollution is responsible for more than 10% of cancer cases in Europe.
The majority of these cases, it claimed, are avoidable.
The organisation stated in a statement that “exposure to air pollution, carcinogenic chemicals, radon, UV (ultraviolet) radiation, and second-hand smoking combined may contribute over 10% of the cancer burden in Europe.”
However, according to EEA expert Gerardo Sanchez, “all cancer risks from the environment and the workplace may be decreased.”
Prior to the publication of the report, the agency’s first on the connection between cancer and the environment, he told media last week: “Environmentally determined malignancies owing to radiation or chemical carcinogens may be reduced to an essentially insignificant level.”
Every year, 2.7 million individuals in the European Union are diagnosed with cancer, and 1.3 million people pass away from it.
The continent reports over a quarter of new cases and a fifth of fatalities, although having less than 10% of the world’s population.
According to the organisation, air pollution is a factor in 1% of all cancer cases and 2% of cancer-related deaths in Europe.
Up to 2% of all cancer incidence and one in ten lung cancer cases in Europe are connected to indoor radon exposure.
According to the organisation, up to 4% of all cancer cases in Europe may be caused by natural UV light.
For persons who have never smoked, being exposed to secondhand smoke may raise their total risk for all malignancies by up to 16%.
The organisation issued a warning that numerous occupational toxins in Europe, such as lead, arsenic, chromium, cadmium, acrylamide, and pesticides, are carcinogenic.
An estimated 55 to 88 percent of occupational lung malignancies are thought to be caused by asbestos, a well-known carcinogen. According to the organisation, asbestos was outlawed in the EU in 2005, but some buildings still contain it, and employees who perform restoration and demolition work are still exposed to it.
Cleaning up pollutants and altering behaviour can lower the chance of developing environmental and occupational cancer, it continued.
“Reducing these hazards will result in a decrease in cancer occurrences and fatalities.”