Air pollution is a major reason of lung cancer and is also associated with breast, liver, bladder and pancreatic cancer.
No doubt people who smoke have greatest risk of lung cancer but staggering numbers of non-smoker are also getting victims of this deadly disease. Air pollution grievously causing lung cancer.
Air is getting polluted by rapid industrialization, mushrooming commercialization and extensive use of transportation. Hence the concentration of carcinogens (carcinogens are pollutants that cause cancer) in the air is rising, which is intensifying the risk of cancer.
Some of the most likely carcinogens are Aflatoxins, Aristolochic Acids, Arsenic, Asbestos, Benzene, Benzidine, Beryllium, Cadmium, Coal-Tar and Coal-Tar pitch, Coke Oven Emission, Crystalline Silica, Erionite, Ethylene Oxide, Formaldehyde, Nickel compounds, Radon, Thorium, Sulphuric acid, Trichloroethylene, Vinyl Chloride etc.
These carcinogens get suspended in the air as tiny particulate matter in solid or liquid form. They are called particulate matter. Their size is less than one-millionth of a meter. These small particles are more baneful than larger ones because they easily penetrate into the lungs. A person exposed to a carcinogen is most likely to develop cancer.
Particulate matters less than 10 micrometres in diameter can get into lungs and even into the blood stream. Particles less than 2.5 micrometres in diameter pose the greatest risk of cancer.
The carcinogens are produced by fossil fuel combustion, exhaust from motor vehicles and diesel engines and emissions from power plants and industrial centres.
How cancer does occurs due to air pollution?
Cancer is caused by the change in gene sequence that dysfunction cells. Particulate matters in air make their way into the lung. Over the period, it interfere with the normal instructions in the cell and disintegrates DNA mutation that alters gene expression. As a result cell gets damaged. This damaged cell grow uncontrollably and outnumbers healthy cells. Also they don’t die when it should be. Cancer cell produces enzymes that breakdown normal cells, thus can spread fast by envisioning near adjacent cells and tissues.
Particulate matter when inhaled, made its way into lungs. It build up in the lung and changes cells replication this subsequently damages DNA causing inflammation. Gradually lung cells starts to grow violently, spreading through surrounding tissues, causing long time inflammation into cancer.
How to lessen carcinogen in air?
Lessen the carcinogens in the air is the fair solution to check lung and other cancer.
To reduce outdoor air pollution industries need to invest in clean technologies to reduce smokestack emissions and improve waste management. Walking, Cycling and public transportation should be adopted and habitualized. Urbanisation should be left substantial space for plantations.
Renewable power sources like solar, wind and hydropower are the best solution to mitigate air pollution.