A new study published in the American Cancer Society’s journal, Cancer, directly links your exposure to any type of pollution and your risk of developing cancer.
For this study researchers looked at data covering cancer cases in every single county in the U.S. What they say they found was that people who lived in counties with the lowest environmental ratings had, on average, 39 more cancer patients per every 100,000 residents each year.
The average number of cancer patients across all U.S. counties is around 450 for every 100,000 people living in each county. But in communities where the environment is relatively “clean”, that number is lower. In “dirtier” areas, where air and water quality is lower, the number tends to be higher.
The American Cancer Society has not yet issued a public statement on the study but UIC, where the study was actually done, has. In a news release, lead author Jyotsna Jagai explained it this way: “Most research has focused on single environmental factors . . . . But these single factors don’t paint a comprehensive picture of what a person is exposed to in their environment — and may not be as helpful in predicting cancer risk, which is impacted by multiple factors including the air you breathe, the water you drink, the neighborhood you live in, and your exposure to myriad toxins, chemicals and pollutants.”
Especially prominent was the apparent link between environmental pollutants and cancers of the breast and prostate.