Ambient air pollution and lung cancer in Poland: research findings and gaps
Journal of Health Inequalities
Ambient air pollution is a well established cause of lung cancer. According to a 2016 World Health Organization report on air quality in cities around the world, 33 of the 50 most polluted cities in Europe are in Poland. Moreover, lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in Poland. However, there are a number of challenges to understanding the extent of the health burden resulting from high pollution levels in Poland. Challenges include the long lag time between exposure and disease,
... ure and disease, the difficulties of assessing actual exposure for individuals, limited availability of historical pollution data, and a reliance on risk data from mostly high income countries with different exposure conditions. Additionally, the strong influence of tobacco smoking on lung cancer trends in Poland makes it difficult to isolate the impact of air pollution from other risk factors. Research to date on air pollution and lung cancer in Poland has been limited. Some innovative studies have been conducted in the industrial region of Silesia using molecular markers of DNA damage to demonstrate the biological impact of pollution exposure. Additionally, case control studies and secondary data analyses have provided further documentation of an association between pollution exposure and lung cancer in Poland. However, there is a need for more comprehensive monitoring of air pollution exposure and health effects to be able to assess the cancer burden of air pollution exposure in Poland.