Air causes lung cancer?

Outdoor air is like secondhand smoke?

Reuters reports:

People who have never smoked, but who live in areas with higher air pollution levels, are roughly 20 percent more likely to die from lung cancer than people who live with cleaner air, researchers conclude in a new study.

But the study is of exceedingly poor quality — the researchers only used air pollution data for the periods 1979-1983 and 1999-2000 in a study that covers the period 1982 to 2008 — and its results are weak associations that are statistically insignificant.

You will not get a hint of any of that from the Reuters report.

BTW, the reported association (a 20% increase in lung cancer) is about the same as the 19% increase in risk the EPA calculated in 1993 for secondhand smoke.

Finally, this study employs the same “secret science” that Congress is now trying top wrest from the EPA.

Click for the Reuters story.

Click for the study.

5 thoughts on “Air causes lung cancer?”

  1. It seems to me that epidemiology, once considered a useful tool, has now become an end unto itself with numbers of people hanging for dear life on every “weak association” for whatever is in vogue with junk science. Comparing today with what one could imagine being the air quality during the oil, coal, gas, and wood fired depths of the industrial revolution and every household chimney puffing out products of wood and coal combustion, we seem to now live in a paradise of breathable air. I like to consider Walter Reed to be among the last great epidemiologists. He actually did something real with yellow fever!

  2. Typical bovine pasture patties. The real motive was to demonstrate that we live in a polluted land, when in fact we in North America have almost finished the job of producing totally “Clean Air” over the whole continent.

    There rare only two pockets of endemic poor air in the country, metro Houston and metro Los Angeles, and both a much cleaner than they used to be. Our hard workl over forty years is indeed payiong off.

    Certainly we have small almost incidental pockets of poor air ranging from the area around a local house fire to a spill, but daily county wide pollution exists only in those areas mentioned.

    That is by our much tougher standards of today. By the standards of 1970 and the First Earth Day when we set out to cleanup the environment in earnest, there is no place in North America that does not have “Clean Air”!

  3. “In this study, Turner and her colleagues followed more than 180,000 non-smokers for 26 years. Throughout the study period, 1,100 people died from lung cancer.”

    That is a rate of about 17/100,000 per year.
    Smokers are 20 times more likely to get lung cancer and that would be a rate of about 339/100,000.
    There are 94 million ever-smokers in this country and that is 940 groups of 100,000.

    339 X 940 = 318.660 ever-smoker lung cancer deaths per year.

    Unfortunately for these reseachers, there are only a total of about 157,000 lung cancer deaths per year to everybody,smoker or not!!!!

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