February 4th, World Cancer Day is an important time to reflect on the increasingly clear impact of poor air quality on cancer rates.

Air pollution has a lot to answer for when it comes to placing the blame for health problems. Not only has it been linked to diseases such as asthma, bronchitis, and emphysema, but it is also responsible for the growth in other chronic conditions such as heart disease, dementia, and Parkinson’s disease. 

It’s no surprise that air pollution has also been associated with lung cancer. What is shocking, however, is that bad air can also increase the risk of mortality from other types of sarcoma, including breast, liver, and pancreatic cancer. 

This has been confirmed by a recent study conducted by academics from Hong Kong and the UK. The study followed a group of almost 67,000 Hong Kong residents, all over 65 years old between 1998 and 2001, until 2011, determining causes of death from Hong Kong registrations. 

Researchers looked at the annual concentrations of ambient fine particulate matter with a diameter of less than 2.5 micrometres (PM2.5) in their subjects’ homes using data from satellites and fixed-site monitors. 

After adjusting for smoking status and excluding deaths that had occurred within three years of the baseline to control for competing diseases, the study revealed that for every 10 micrograms per cubic metre (µg/m3) of increased exposure to PM2.5, the risk of dying from any cancer rose by 22%. 

The report that resulted from this study – Cancer Mortality Risks from Long-term Exposure to Ambient Fine Particle (1) – concluded that, for cancers of the upper digestive tract, the mortality risk was 42% higher.  

For cancers of the accessory digestive organs, the mortality risk was 35% higher. For breast cancer, the mortality risk was 80% higher and, for lung cancer, the mortality risk was 36% higher. 

Taken together with a host of other studies – including a 2013 review by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (2) that concluded there is enough evidence to say that air pollution can cause cancer in people – this research confirms that pollution probably has a significant impact on cancer rates.  

This begs a fundamental question – what can be done to reduce the incidence of sickness caused by poor air quality?

One formidable weapon in the battle against bad air is filtration. Particulate matter (PM) affects more people than any other airborne pollutant. PM consists of a complex mixture of solid and liquid particles of organic and inorganic substances suspended in the air. Its major components are sulphate, nitrates, ammonia, sodium chloride, black carbon, mineral dust, and water. 

Filters that conform with the test standard ISO 16890 offer powerful protection against these and other particulates. People with a sedentary lifestyle typically breathe 15 kg of air each day.

Camfil has proven that using high-quality filters with a high-efficiency rating is the best way to protect building occupants in urban locations.  

In highly polluted areas, we breathe more than 25 million particles with each breath. As per research conducted by the University of British Columbia, there are 5,5 million premature deaths around the world each year due to air pollution.  

World Cancer Day is an international day marked on February 4 to raise awareness of cancer and to encourage its prevention, detection and treatment. 

Camfil helps create safe havens and is working on its core mission to make clean air ‘human right’. 

With the industry-leading air filtration technology, including the City Air Purification range, designed for all types of indoor environments including homes, hospitals, hotels, offices, schools, and public environments - anywhere that high-quality air purification is required, Camfil is improving air quality indoors. With the product finder tool searching by product category, health concerns, industry, or a combination generates results that meet the specific challenge.   

Camfil’s range of air purifiers, air cleaners, and air filtration solutions create a healthier indoor environment, removing the harmful particulates that cause cancer, asthma and other allergies, as well as neutralizing odour. For more information, browse your specific concern on ‘product finder’ tool. 

If you still are not sure or don’t know how to find the right tool, our Camfil experts are just a click away. Click here to contact us


1. American Association for Cancer Research

2. The Lancet (Oncology)
Created quarta-feira, 9 de fevereiro de 2022
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