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Audit Scotland Confirms Serious Health Risks of Air Pollution

Traffic pollution is placing the citizens of 21 areas in Scotland at risk from serious health conditions including cancer, heart disease, respiratory problems, allergies and asthma, reveals Audit Scotland.1
Phil Johnson, Freedom2Choose chairman, comments: “The conclusions from this report will come as no surprise to scientists involved in this type of research. Air-borne pollutants have been a known risk factor of disease for over 50 years now. The Medical Research Council, back in 1957, found that up to 30% of all lung-cancers were attributable to industrial and domestic air-pollution following the ‘great smog’ of 1952 and this was before the great volumes of traffic appeared on our roads.”2
The findings also reflect those of Dr Kitty Little’s study in 1998, a research scientist at Oxford, which also displayed the link between diesel fumes and lung-cancer.3 
Her evidence concluded that ‘diesel fumes contain four known carcinogens; lung cancer is rare in rural areas, but common in towns; cancers were more prevalent along the routes of motorways; the incidence of lung cancer has doubled in non-smokers over past decades; and that there was less lung cancer when we, as a nation, smoked more.’   
She also concluded with a damning statement: ‘Since the effect of the anti-smoking campaign has been to prevent the genuine cause from being publicly acknowledged, there is a very real sense in which we could say that the main reason for those 30,000 deaths a year from lung cancer is the anti-smoking campaign itself’.
Further notable studies undertaken by the Clean Air Task Force (CATF) in the US4 have arrived at the same conclusion claiming ‘so now in 2005 we awake to learn that we have a public health disaster on our hands, with an estimated 21,000 deaths each year caused by diesel fumes, and more than 100 times that number made sick.’
Breast Cancer UK, supported by the Scottish Breast Cancer Campaign, continue to arguefor governments to acknowledge the damaging effect of environmental risk factors causing the incidence of breast cancer to rise at epidemic rates.5
Phil Johnson, chairman of Freedom2choose states: “Obviously tackling the issues surrounding the 100,000 man-made chemicals that pollute our environment is a difficult task, so our main charities and government are targeting the easier option only – lifestyle choices. This way they ‘appear’ to be doing something. Unfortunately, what they are doing is negligible when it comes to tackling the primary prevention of certain diseases.”
“The Scottish Government currently states that smoking is responsible for 13,000 deaths each year which amounts to almost a quarter of the annual death toll in Scotland. This suggests that all smokers die of smoking, which is absurd scaremongering. The fact that another cause of death from heart disease and certain cancers is within the government sights shows that their tobacco mortality figures simply do not add up, particularly when similar arguments are currently being claimed about alcohol and obesity.”

F2C Press Office
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