The World Health Organisation has classed outdoor air pollution as carcinogenic, and says urban and industrial air pollutants cause lung cancer and are linked to bladder cancer.
The International Agency for Research on Cancer is a cautious body not noted for producing reports without hard evidence.
“Outdoor air pollution is carcinogenic to humans. We can’t do very much to change the air we breathe, and we are all responsible for it. So I think that it is important to make the point that this really needs collective public health action to solve the problem,” said the IARC’s Dr. Dana Loomis.
The IARC has previously classed as dangerous individual elements or compounds. This is the first time it has said the very air we breathe has become, in places in every country in the world, bad for our health.