Network for the Environment and Social (Human) Security

Cancer and the Climate Change

Posted by on Nov 11, 2010 in Ecology | 15 comments

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The Ozone layer at the top of the earth’s atmosphere is supposed to protect the earth from harmful rays from outer space. If the Ozone gets damaged, more rays permeate the atmosphere and one of the results is an increase in skin and other forms of Cancer.

It can be supposed, that a healthy way of live will decrease the chances to get cancer. The risk of a heavy cigarette smoker to get cancer is much higher than the risk of one who does not smoke. If nature gets polluted beyond a certain point, could this cause more cases of cancer among the population? One of the points against cigarette smoke is, that the smoke does not only affect the active smoker but also the people around, who smoke passively.

Does the pollution of nature by human beings have the same effects as active or passive smoking? People are getting sick and cancer is only one of the diseases which might affect the global population.

Examples like in Bhopal\India in 1984, Chernobyl\Ukraine in 1986, Minamata\Japan in 19??, Seveso\Tirol in 1976 are just the tip of the Iceberg. Just recently something similar has happened in Hungary, an incident, which is known as the Red Sludge spill. Although no people came to harm, the harmful substance has polluted the soil and, probably the groundwater.

All those substances are dispersing in nature and we believe they are not harmful for human beings anymore, since the concentration is low. But just as passive smoking is harmful to people so can the aforementioned substances be harmful to people. The concentration of cigarette smoke for passive smokers and the concentration of the substances are similarly low. As much as passive smoking can cause cancer those substances might just as well cause cancer or other diseases.

All the examples listed before still do not mention all the Oil Spills and other pollution on sea and in the air. If the Climate Change will really happen, even more harmful substances will find their way into the air, soil and groundwater and the numbers of cancer cases among the population will rise. To believe, that this will be prevented by responsible politicians and tycoons is naive. This could and should happen already today and it does not. All those disasters are the results of criminal negligence! 

*The picture depicts a Breast Cancer Cell.

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  13. Tandarts

    Hi thanks for this nice and interesting post. But I still do not understand the second part though!

    • Admin (Max)

      Hi Tandarts,
      I don’t quite understand what you mean with the second part, that you don’t understand. Nonetheless I will try to clarify my point.
      The chances for a cigarette smoker to get cancer is, statistically, much higher than a non-smoker. But to be around smokers might cause some non-smokers to get cancer anyway, because of passive smoking. If we take this for granted, then it is not too far fetched to see a connection to the pollutants in air, soil and water to cause cancer in people, who get some of the poison into their bodies. The concentration of the harmful substances don’t have to be much higher as what the passive smokers inhale. The examples of Minamata and the others just show the what high concentrations of harmful substances can do to people. But no one speaks about the effects of lesser concentrations.
      The pollutants released, no matter the reason, might not just intensify the Climate Change, but might cause cancer and other ailments as well.
      I hope, I was able to answer your questions.
      All the best,

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