There's more scientific research on the hazardous impacts of air pollution. Researchers at the Universirty of California, Los Angeles School of Public Health have found that living near traffic pollution during pregnancy and the first year of life might increase the likelihood of developing childhood cancer.

The study has yet to provide evidence that traffic pollution causes childhood cancer, but it does suggest exposure increases risk.

Researchers have collected data on children diagnosed with cancer before the age of six and their local traffic exposure. The higher the level of traffic pollution, the higher the odds for acute lymphoblastic leukemia (white blood cell cancer), germ cell tumors (cancers of the testicles, ovaries and other organs) and eye cancer, according to their study. The study has yet to provide evidence that traffic pollution causes childhood cancer, said lead researcher Julia Heck, an assistant researcher in the department of epidemiology, adding that the study does suggest exposure to traffic pollution might increase risk for childhood cancers.

Southern California is known for its smog. The state's topography and its warm, sunny climate form and trap air pollutants and create smog, according to the California Air Resources Board. For Dr. Rubin Cohen, director of Adult Cystic Fibrosis and Bronchiectasis Center at the Long Island Jewish Medical Center in New Hyde Park, NY, there's yet to be a direct correlation between smog and childhood cancer. "There has been an association between air pollution and other diseases," Cohen said. "We know that pollution causes asthma, and that is probably more real than the cancer issue."

Children exposed to air pollution are at higher risk of getting asthma, according to findings from researchers in Europe who studied children in 10 cities. Another study at a Southern California university has found that autism in children is another risk factor for those living in high air pollution zones.

As for cancer, the World Health Organization has linked exposure to air pollution from diesel engines to lung and bladder cancers. So, until tailpipe emissions are substantially reduced, those living living near traffic-packed roads – especially pregnant women and families with young children – are at risk.


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  • 27 Comments
      2 wheeled menace
      • 1 Year Ago
      We have the highest autism rate here in Utah, and also some of the most intense winter pollution in the country, exceeding federal upper limits by 3x-5x due to inversions. Maybe there is an autism link.. haven't heard anything about cancer, though there are a lot of cancer center signs along the freeway.. hmmmmmmm
      Grendal
      • 1 Year Ago
      Exposure to carcinogens causes cancer. Hmm. No surprise there. Anyone out there think that emissions are good for you?
      raktmn
      • 1 Year Ago
      I'm absolutely certain the free market will completely take care of this problem without any gov't involvement. If these babies want to be born healthy, they can just not buy anything from companies who pollute. And those companies will be forced to stop polluting. /sarc Seriously though, how does any free market fanatic actually propose that the free market can solve this problem without gov't involvement? No sarcasm. Is there one single person who can give a detailed, step-by-step realistic solution to this issue using only the free market? Anyone?
        brotherkenny4
        • 1 Year Ago
        @raktmn
        CEOs have a legal obligation to maximize profit. So, if the laws don't prevent them from killing people indirectly or prevent them from destroying our country they are required to do it. There are no real free market people out there. There are those that rant about it, but they are also quick to seek government shelter when someone threatens their market. See the discussion on Tesla and the dealers associations. The dealers are socialists, but they have everyone perceiving the opposite. Additionally, our banks are socialists and our car companies are socialist, and even our oil companies are socialists. None of them believes in free markets, that's why they pay the politicians to protect them from competition. But hey, scream loud enough and often enough on the brainwash box and most people will follow. Heck, I'll bet most people think we are free and have liberty and "rights", ha! The crap you can make people believe, it's amazing.
        SealtestDark
        • 1 Year Ago
        @raktmn
        There was a wonderful term I heard "negative externalities". The free market works best when it can push these off to society as a whole and avoid financial responsibility for these. Makes for great short term profits, but nothing comes without a price paid by someone, somewhere.
        EZEE
        • 1 Year Ago
        @raktmn
        In the eastern block, before the glorious fall of murderous communism, when it snowed, the snow was black in many cases due to pollution. All of the ndustries were government owned. Great job government. At least in our free market system our snow is white. Do I need to post pictures for you to see? Big government china is a polluting basket case. Europe, from whence all goodness comes, has advantageous tax breaks so people use diesel. 130,000,000 dead in the 20th century, black snow, and you still preach. Great. Just great.
          raktmn
          • 1 Year Ago
          @EZEE
          EZEE -- My move is easy. You've just dumped 10,000+ characters of mindless, pointless ranting attacks because you know you cannot answer the simple question: "Is there one single person who can give a detailed, step-by-step realistic solution to this issue using only the free market? Anyone?" Every further character you write that fails to directly address this, just proves that pure free market forces can never fix issues like these. If your position now is that gov't regulation is the answer, just say you agree with me that gov't regulation is the answer where pure free market forces fail to address this issue. Your move.
          raktmn
          • 1 Year Ago
          @EZEE
          EZEE -- We don't have a pure free market. Our pollution laws give us a government regulated market. Thank you for pointing out how a government regulated market on pollution thanks to the EPA, California CARB, etc have had the direct result of greatly reducing pollution here in the United States. A big thank you to CARB and the EPA will suffice, instead of comparing them to communism and attacking them. What you have completely failed to do is to explain how pure free market capitalism without evil gov't regulation would handle pollution. A world where the EPA and CARB are eliminated, as the Tea Party and Republican free market zealots said they would do in the last set of state and federal elections. You failed to do this, because instead of taking up the challenge of describing how a pure free market would do a better job than our current gov't regulated market, you choose the most mindless dodge. Instead of taking the challenge, you decided to make the false comparison between our gov't regulated market, and communism. Care to try again, and this time actually address the issue of pure free market, instead of offering just sarcastic logical fallacies?
          Nick
          • 1 Year Ago
          @EZEE
          3200 die every year in Hong Kong due to poisonous air, here, in the free market capital of the world. Awaiting your dumb comment.
          EZEE
          • 1 Year Ago
          @EZEE
          Rak... All good points, and I will throw rhetoric aside for just a moment. When you say 'free market types' as an insult, you create an image of us that does not exist. You do not believe it, but this is true. T say we want 'no government' for example is an extreme charaicatures. Odd, my spell check corrected that wrong. Anyway, no one on the right will say no government (those are anarchists, which oddly, usually protest alongside the left), but just less government. 2wheel is a libertarian and he does not advocate no regulation, and he will be more hardcore than I. You can obviously think I am wrong, but to create this 'you guys want no government or regulation at all' is disingenuous. I may as well say, 'you believe in big government, so therefore you support Stalin. And, since you like socialism, you must be a national socialist. Now, I can certainly continue my devastating attacks on leftist philosophy, where I hold the mirror up to the horrors that has been wrought (like say, Detroit), or I can go back to my friendly, lovable self. I am done, however, looking the other way when I see unsolicited attacks, using stereotypes, straw man arguments, and Alinsky tactics, when they are so easily defeated. I am not some low level liberal who hates everyone I am told to hate, preaches peace while smashing windows, and talking about tolerance while attacking any person of color who does not believe as I believe. Your move.
          Dave D
          • 1 Year Ago
          @EZEE
          Agreed EZEE. But saying the communist system is worse than a free market system is not an indictment of government in general. The commies pretty much suck at everything, so you can't use that as a way to distract the argument from his original question. It would be easy to argue that our capitalistic gov't just does a better job of regulating smog than a communist system, therefore we have white snow. But we have no truly "free market systems" to compare against. Common sense and local observations would say that a company will happily dump raw sewage and poisons in the local water supply if they can get away with it and to hell with everyone else. "I've got enough money to buy a nice house on the hill back up stream so screw the rest of you".
          EZEE
          • 1 Year Ago
          @EZEE
          Again you reply with this all or nothing situation. How far do you go with regulation? I could reword your argument right back at you and point out that kossacks, Jews, Tibetans, and thousands of other ethnic minorities were murdered by government regulation. They were regulated to camps and then killed, starved, gassed, etc. your regulation also caused black snow. And yet you believe in the all powerful government to save us all. How much regulation is enough? How much taxation is enough? Blacks were regulated by government, not bus companies, to ride in the back. You want to keep throwing hyperbole at me? You know I will win evey time, because I have 130,000,000 reasons why I will win. Get back with me when you tour Detroit and tell me how successful your regulation has been.
      EZEE
      • 1 Year Ago
      Eat good,nutritious food, exercise, listen to music, avoid drugs of any time. Avoid things that cause cancer. It don't take no phd.
        brotherkenny4
        • 1 Year Ago
        @EZEE
        I have a phd, and would just add, maybe read a little and take drugs like alcohol and coffee in moderation (definitely first choose exercise and diet vs. phamaceuticals).
          EZEE
          • 1 Year Ago
          @brotherkenny4
          When female says, 'chocolate' it is important to quickly provide said chocolate.
          Dave D
          • 1 Year Ago
          @brotherkenny4
          Don't forget chocolate, lots of chocolate. It won't really make you any healthier, but you'll be happier :-)
        raktmn
        • 1 Year Ago
        @EZEE
        "Avoid things that cause cancer." That's the point. The things (pollution) that cause cancer are floating in the air these expecting mothers are breathing. These expecting mothers should have their free-choice right to "avoid things that cause cancer". That is where the California Air Resources Board comes in for this story. The idea is to give people a true personal freedom and choice over whether they want to "Avoid things that cause cancer", instead of being forced to uproot their lives and move somewhere else to avoid the pollution.
          EZEE
          • 1 Year Ago
          @raktmn
          People in government controlled societies brave barbed wire to escape and gunfire, because they are starving. But, I guess people like you cannot see things like walls, gun fire, and mass starvation, and still cling to your murderous philosophies. The funny thing is, in most of those countries, during these starvations, the governent looks the other way and 'allows' the free market to pop up so people can eat. Even in soviet Russia (in soviet Russia, Waldo finds you) they 'allowed' the free market to happen on a limited basis to avoid mass death. Many Russians are glad you were never in charge. Rak - supporter of mass death.
        Nick
        • 1 Year Ago
        @EZEE
        Exactly, and that's what I do, but.........the air here has been terrible for a week now, visibility at 100m only here in Hong Kong. In some places, air pollution is really terrible.
      Levine Levine
      • 1 Year Ago
      According to the conclusion of a study sponored by the American Self-less Scientist for the Holistic Organic Living Environment (*******) , people who live next to an intersection with heavy vehicular traffic fart more frequency and in greater intensity than people who live in the remote rural area with almost no traffic. As all farting release substantial quantity of methane, a global warming and carcinogenic gas, regulations must be drawn up to regulate the release of dangerous fart into the atmosphere. Federal legislation SB407, known as the American Fighting Ubiqutious-farting Killers Law (A ****) , and AB601, known as the California for Sensible Farting , both address the need to reduce the emission of global warming gases and the release of carcinogenic compounds into the environment associated with farts. Both legislations seek to set maximum emisson of fart (MEF) to 1liter at STP condition per person per day. Those who exceed the MEF are either subject to a fine not to exceed $100 per day and/or required to deploy the State approved electronically monitor equipment, the Fart Adaptive Recovery Treatment (FART). Finally, as all urban inhabitants live under heavy traffic congestion, they will be required to submit to bi-annual inspection at a Fart Station where members certified by the ******* measures the daily average fart production.
        DaveMart
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Levine Levine
        Not big on medical science, or intelligence in general, are you?
          Actionable Mango
          • 1 Year Ago
          @DaveMart
          Most of the responses here are not big on science. Correlation is not causation, yet almost every single person is using the word "cause". Don't get me wrong, I think reducing pollution is a good thing regardless. I'm only making a point about science and how studies are interpreted by readers.
      Nick
      • 1 Year Ago
      wow who would have thought??
      Spiffster
      • 1 Year Ago
      Smog is bad, M'kay...
      Dave D
      • 1 Year Ago
      So sad, and so obvious. I wonder why we have to have a study to wake up to something like this?
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