Brain cancers are rare but in most instances, they are fatal. This was the revelation made by Dr. Scott Weichenthal, a professor at the Department of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health at McGill University in Canada. He is the lead researcher exploring the link between air pollution caused by traffic and brain cancer.

Brain Cancer And Air Pollution

Dr. Weichenthal said that people who ride bicycles on the streets and perform yoga routines on their rooftop may have the best intentions for their health. What they do not know is they are exposing themselves to the long-term risk of developing brain cancer. In fact, Dr. Weichenthal says he has started avoiding heavily polluted streets whenever he is exercising outdoors.

From 1991 to 2016, Dr. Weichenthal was able to study medical records and the exposure of around 1.9 million adult Canadians to air pollution caused by cars. The research is in collaboration with Statistics Canada and Health Canada investigators.

link between brain cancer and air pollution caused by cars
link between brain cancer and air pollution caused by cars Ben Kerckx - Pixabay

Airborne Nanoparticles

According to Dr. Weichenthal, they were able to establish the link between airborne nanoparticles generated by motor traffic to brain cancer. These combustion nanoparticles are being created by the burning of fuel in the cars’ engines.

Dr. Weichenthal said it is always better to minimize your exposure to pollutants. He added, however, that the government should do its part in crafting regulations that would reduce the exposure of everyone.

Increasing Brain Cancer Risk

Results of Dr. Weichenthal’s study were published in Epidemiology, a medical journal. Among other things, his findings reveal that a one-year exposure to traffic air pollutants increased the risk of brain cancer by over 10%.

The research team was able to find a consistent relationship between pollution nanoparticles discharged by combustion cars and brain cancer. Researchers also considered other factors known to cause cancer, such as smoking and obesity levels.

Despite having consistent data, however, Dr. Weichenthal said there is a need to conduct more studies that may be able to duplicate their findings. This is because the research they conducted was the first of its kind.

Another journal, Chest, published a global review this year of the effects of air pollution on the human body. It said that air pollution can adversely impact almost every organ in the body.