• U.S.

Medicine: Air Pollution & Cancer

1 minute read

Researchers who contend that heavy cigarette smoking is the major cause of lung cancer tend to minimize the possible importance of air pollution as another cause. On the other hand, the air-pollution enthusiasts minimize the importance of smoking. Last week Dr. Wilhelm C. Hueper of the National Cancer Institute told public-health engineers meeting in Atlantic City that the pattern of the increase in lung cancer coincides not with the pattern of increased smoking, but more closely with the use of cancer-causing substances in industry and their appearance in engine-exhaust fumes. Conceding that much of his evidence was circumstantial, Dr. Hueper concluded that “the great majority of lung cancer” is not caused by excessive cigarette smoking. He attributed to cigarette smoking (an “unhealthy habit”) “a definite, while lesser, direct or indirect role in the production and rise in frequency of cancers of the lung.”

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