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Air Pollution Increases Risk of Lung Cancer, Heart Disease

boy wearing face mask with foggy sky and traffic in the background

NIEHS-funded researchers demonstrated that years of exposure to high concentrations of tiny particles of soot and dust from cars, power plants, and factories can increase a person's risk of dying from lung cancer and heart disease to a level that is comparable to the risk associated with prolonged exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke.

Tags: air, lung, smoking


Pope CA 3rd, Burnett RT, Thun MJ, Calle EE, Krewski D, Ito K, Thurston GD. 2002. Lung cancer, cardiopulmonary mortality, and long-term exposure to fine particulate air pollution. JAMA 287(9):1132-1141. [Abstract] [Full Text]

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NIEHS Research Funding:

News Release:

  • 2002: Link Strengthened between Lung Cancer, Heart Deaths and Tiny Particles of Soot, Dust

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