Living With Climate Change: Non-smoking lung cancer is on the rise. Blame pollution, says American Lung Association.

by | Apr 19, 2023 | Stock Market

A long-established report card grading air quality around the country has uncovered worrisome takeaways. For one, the American Lung Association, which issues the grades, finds that lung cancer among non-smokers is on the rise, with pollution considered a likely contributor. Second, communities of color are disproportionately exposed to unhealthy air and the serious pulmonary conditions and other medical concerns that come with it.

And third, severe wildfires in recent years made outdoor life in the scenic U.S. West, where population is on the rise, increasingly difficult and dangerous. The lowest grades for air quality cropped up largely in western states. In all, nearly four in 10 Americans —119.6 million people — live in places with failing grades for unhealthy levels of ozone pollution and both short-term and longer-lasting particle pollution, the American Lung Association said in its latest “State of the Air” report. The Lung Association has issued the report for 24 years, grading American cities and counties based on the population’s exposure to unhealthy levels of ground-level ozone air pollution, annual particle pollution, and short-term spikes in particle pollution. This year’s report covers 2019-2021. Dr. Panagis Galiatsatos, a pulmonologist who is the national spokesperson for the American Lung Association, told MarketWatch that he was most unsettled by the latest report’s evidence of the rise in non-smoking lung cancers. “We have to understand that pollution’s impact on our bodies is growing and we just can’t easily dismiss this evide …

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