A study at Turin University, Italy found asbestos caused 107,000 lung cancer deaths in 2004, and 1,523,000 people were left on disability from exposure. Sadly, 125 million people in the world are exposed to asbestos at the workplace according to WHO Assessment of Asbestos.
Asbestos-related lung cancer takes between 15 and 35 years to develop. When you add cigarette smoke to those exposed to asbestos, it drastically increases the risk of developing asbestos lung cancer by 50 to 84 times.
Asbestos is a natural mineral which has been used in North America since the late 1800s as a thermal and insulation material. When the fibers of asbestos are disturbed, they release microscopic fibers into the air and when inhaled, can become trapped in the lungs.
Asbestos use is now limited or banned in many countries including the United States, but there are still 125 million people exposed to it worldwide. WHO, in collaboration with many organizations, is working towards eliminating the use of all types of asbestos.
In the past century, asbestos has been incorporated into thousands of construction products, including fire-retardant coatings, concrete and cement, bricks, pipes, gaskets, insulation, drywall, flooring, roofing, joint compound, roads, ships, trains and automobile paints and sealants. It even exists in plastics, rubber, mattresses, flower pots, lawn furniture, electrical appliances, hats and gloves.
Interesting to note: The most vulnerable professions to asbestos lung cancer are professions dominated by men: auto mechanics, construction workers, insulation installer roofers, tilers, plumbers, paper mill workers, textile workers, sheet metal workers.
4. Air Pollution
Air pollution has caused 223,000 lung cancer deaths in 2010 worldwide. There is a growing awareness about outdoor pollution in the world from vehicles, industry and power plants, especially in densely-developed areas.
A 2013 WHO report states that outdoor air pollution is carcinogenic to humans. Exhaust from cars, diesel fumes, in particular, cause lung cancer according to a National Cancer Institute study. Cancer Counsel in Australia found that miners with a high exposure to diesel exhaust were three times more likely to die from lung cancer than miners with low exposures.
Heating a house by burning substances such as kerosene, wood and coal can contaminate the air inside the house. Ash and smoke make breathing difficult and can stick to walls, food and clothing.
5. Genes and Hereditary Lung Cancer Play a Role
Lung cancer is more likely to occur in both smoking and non-smoking relatives of those who have had lung cancer, as stated in the US National Library of Medicine.
African Americans under the age of 50-years-old are almost twice as likely as whites in the same age group to develop lung cancer. Research has identified a gene that plays a role in the growth and spread of lung cancer tumors.
As always, eating a healthy diet with lots of fruits, vegetables and whole grains is always a good idea and may help reduce your risk of all cancers.
Eat Real Food, Not Junk Food
Toxic Indoor Pollution
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