If it was not enough knowing that burning fossil fuels contribute to climate change, now we have another reason to worry. It is confirmed: according to the World Health Organization, air pollution is one of the causes of cancer, alongside other known dangers such as asbestos, tobacco and ultraviolet radiation. Air pollution is now considered the most important environmental carcinogen for lung cancer, more so than passive smoking.
This conclusion came after a consultation by an expert panel organized by IARC, the cancer agency of the World Health Organization, which had previously deemed some of the components in air pollution such as diesel fumes to be carcinogens, but this is the first time it has classified air pollution in its entirety as cancer causing.
According to the same organization, 223,000 people died in 2010 of lung cancer. Over half of these deaths happened in China and other countries in East Asia.
What is the situation in Latin America and the Caribbean? What are the health risks you may be facing for living in a particular city of area? Can renewable energies and sustainable transport tackle this issue?
We have compiled a list of the most polluted cities in Latin America and the Caribbean. Are you surprised by the results? Have you on anyone you know consider moving because of a health issue that affects you or your family? The floor is open for debate.
*This list was elaborated with available data for certain countries. Source: Urban Outdoor Air Pollution Database. Global Health Observatory, World Health Organization.
Follow us on Twitter: @BIDcambioclima