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Polluted air may increase risk of cancer, new study indicates

Press Release   •   May 05, 2016 16:44 GMT

Air pollution blankets Hong Kong

Stockholm, Sweden, May 6, 2016 – A decade-long study of over 66,000 people in Hong Kong aged 65 or older has highlighted how exposure to multiple airborne pollutants may increase the risk of death from many different types of cancer. The study was published recently in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

“This latest study provides yet more evidence of the insidious cradle-to-grave nature of air pollution and the dire impact it poses to human health,” said Bengt Rittri, founder, and CEO of Blueair, a global leader in innovative air purification technologies designed to remove allergens, asthma triggers, viruses, bacteria and other airborne pollutants from the air in homes and workplaces. The research was carried out by researchers at Birmingham University in the UK and the University of Hong Kong who tracked 66,280 people aged 65 or older between 1998 – 2001 and then followed the participants until a 2011 baseline to ascertain causes of death.

The study indicated that for every ten micrograms per cubic meter of increased exposure to PM2.5, the danger of dying from cancer rose by 22 percent. More specifically, such a level of PM2.5 exposure was associated with a 42 percent greater chance of dying from cancer of the upper digestive tract and a 35 percent higher risk of dying from cancers of the liver, bile ducts, and pancreas, according to news reports citing the study.

The study spotlighted the different health dangers faced by men and women from long-term air pollution. For women, every ten micrograms per cubic meter of increased PM2.5 exposure heightened the risk of dying from breast cancer by 80 percent, while the same increase in men corresponded to a 36 percent higher risk of dying of lung cancer, the study indicated.

“The significant results of this study drive home the need for us all to combat air pollution, both indoors and outside, if we want to safeguard public health. While there is not a lot we individuals can do short-term to solve outdoor air pollution, we can create safer indoor havens by the simple expedient of using indoor air purifiers to remove airborne pollutants from the air we breathe in our home or work spaces,” said Mr. Rittri.

BACKGROUND

The new study was published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research. It was carried out by Thuan Quoc Thach, PhD, a scientific officer at the School of Public Health at the University of Hong Kong and Thomas, MPhil, PhD, a reader in epidemiology in the Department of Public Health, Epidemiology and Biostatistics in the Institute of Applied Health of the College of Medical and Dental Sciences at The University of Birmingham.

For more information, please contact:

David Noble,Blueair PR and Communciation
T. +44 7785302694
E. david.noble@blueair.se

Sold in some 64 countries around the world, Blueair delivers home and office users more clean indoor air for enhanced user health and wellbeing faster than any competing air purifier thanks to its commitment to quality, energy efficiency and environmental care. A Blueair air purifier works efficiently, silently to remove 99.97% of allergens, asthma triggers, viruses, bacteria and other airborne pollutants.