The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), an agency within the World Health Organisation, has officially classified outdoor air pollution as carcinogenic. In a report it claims air pollution from traffic and industrial fumes was a cause of lung cancer and was linked to bladder cancer.
Dr Kurt Straif of the IARC said:
'The air we breathe has become polluted with a mixture of cancer-causing substances. We now know that outdoor air pollution is not only a major risk to health in general, but also a leading environmental cause of cancer deaths'.
In a report the Centre published in 2009 Professor Reece Walters estimated that 24,000 British residents die prematurely every year and thousands more are hospitalised, because of air pollution.