Over a million people die from cancer in the EU every year. According to experts, about one in ten cancers is due to external factors such as air pollution or chemicals.

According to EU experts, around every tenth cancer in Europe can be traced back to external factors such as pollutants.

Air pollution, carcinogenic chemicals, UV light and passive smoking together are responsible for an estimated 10 percent of all cancers, and probably for significantly more, as the EU Environment Agency EEA writes in a report. Smoking, alcohol consumption or your own diet are not included in this analysis.

The good news is that all environmental and occupational cancer risks can be reduced by tackling environmental pollution and changing behaviour, the Copenhagen-based agency said. This would subsequently lead to a reduction in cancer incidence and deaths. “Environmental and occupational cancer risks are inherently preventable, and reducing them is key to reducing the cancer burden in Europe,” the report says.

With almost 2.7 million new diagnoses and 1.3 million deaths each year, the EU is more affected by cancer than other regions of the world. Although less than 10 percent of the world’s population lives in Europe, it accounts for almost 23 percent of new cases and 20 percent of deaths, according to the EEA.