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International Health Insurance News: Beijing pollution controls 'could save lives'

International health insurance customers living in Beijing might be interested to learn that their risk of developing cancer could be significantly reduced by anti-pollution measures.

According to research published in Environmental Health Perspectives, the lifetime risk of lung cancer could be almost halved if the government decides to maintain the air pollution controls put in place during the 2008 Olympic Games.

Indeed, around 10,000 lifetime cases of the cancer could be avoided in the region.

Polycylic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), which are produced in almost any type of combustion, are the main cause of lung cancers resulting from pollution.

Staci Simonich, an associate professor of chemistry and environmental toxicology at Oregon State University, commented: "PAH pollution was definitely reduced by the actions China took during the 2008 Olympics, such as restricting vehicle use, decreasing coal combustion and closing some pollution-emitting factories.

"That's a positive step, and it shows that if such steps were continued it could lead to a significant reduction in cancer risk from these types of pollutants."

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