The proportion of total deaths attributable to environmental factors is estimated to be 23% of global deaths and 22% of global disability-adjusted life years (DALYs) according to one review. These estimates encompass all environmental agents including infectious agents but excluding behavioural factors. The authors of the review also estimated that 16% (95% CI: 7–41%) of cancer deaths are attributable to environmental risk factors (and 36% [95% CI: 17–52%] for lung cancer). In this article, we focus on the reasons why epidemiology is often unable to account for the whole burden of environmental carcinogens.
Environment, cancer and inequalities—The urgent need for prevention
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