In the first study of its kind, exposure to air pollution has been linked to an increased risk of developing mouth cancer.
The number of new cases and deaths from mouth cancer is increasing in many parts of the world. Known risk factors include smoking, drinking, and HPV (human papilloma virus). Heavy metals and emissions from petrochemical plants along with air pollution are already known to be harmful to respiratory and cardiovascular health.
To find out if air pollutants might have a role in the development of mouth cancer, the team used data from 66 air quality monitoring stations in Taiwan, obtained information from national cancer, health, insurance and air quality databases and checked the health records of over 480,000 men aged 40 and older.
In the end they found that higher levels of small particles in air pollution were linked to a 43 percent greater chance of having a mouth cancer diagnosed.
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