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The recent announcement that outdoor air pollution is carcinogenic to humans has caused huge reactions worldwide; provoking discussion in the press, within the scientific community, and among people in general.The evaluation by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) is driven by findings from epidemiologic studies of millions of people living in Europe, North and South America, and Asia. According to the IARC, there is sufficient evidence that exposure to outdoor air pollution causes lung cancer, and an increased risk of bladder cancer.Predominant sources of outdoor air pollution are: transportation; power generation; industrial and agricultural emissions; and residential heating and cooking. euronews’ Claudio Rocco interviewed one of the authors of the report, scientist Dana Loomis. The air in China and India is known to be very polluted, but, surprisingly, the air in Northern Africa is, too. “In China and in India much of what we see is due to coal burning,” explained Loomis. “It’s industry and all the industrial development that is taking place in those countries. Here in Northern Africa, of course, is mostly desert, with few people. The particulate pollution that we see there is from windblown desert dust. So it’s quite different in character from the pollution coming from industry.”Loomis added that desert dust is not as dangerous as other sources of air pollution. But, according to an Italian study, it does produce fine particles and can cause a wide range of health problems, including respiratory diseases.He said the situation in Europe is very variable, with heavy pockets of pollution in certain areas and other, cleaner regions:“In Europe the main sources today are related to transport. That is vehicles, airplanes, and so on. It used to be industry, and today if you go to China or India it is industry, because those are the countries that are industrialising, much as Europe did 200 years ago,” clarified Loomis.When it comes to protection...