If the pollutant is carcenogenic (meaing it can cause cancer), then absolutely. GE had a large case involving dumping PBCs in the Hudson River which caused illnesses such as cancer. If a carcenogenic pollutant is in the soil, or the air, or probably worst of all contaminating someones drinking water, then it could have devistating effects for that area.
Regular greenhouse gas pollution is generally not carcenogenic (at least not proven to be).
Air pollution – mainly from vehicles, industry, and power plants – raises the chances of lung cancer and heart disease in people exposed to it long term, according to a report in the March 6 Journal of the American Medical Association (Vol. 287, No. 9: 1132-1141).
The risk comes when gases from auto exhaust and smokestacks combine with oxygen in the air to form very small particles that are breathed in. A study found that there was no level of air pollution that was safe, and that the more air pollution increased, the higher the risk became of dying from lung cancer, heart disease, or from any cause. Pollution drove up the risk of dying from lung cancer the most, followed by risk of death from heart disease, and then by risk of dying from all causes. The risk of lung cancer death went up by 8% for every 10 micrograms of fine particles in a cubic meter (about 3 feet by 3 feet) of air, the study found.
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