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December 22, 1962


JAMA. 1962;182(12):17. doi:10.1001/jama.1962.03050510157002

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Attack on Air Pollution Urged.—  Surgeon General Luther L. Terry said there is no doubt that air pollution is a health hazard and may be linked to respiratory diseases, including lung cancer."Studies have shown that the death rates for cardiorespiratory causes correlate in general with air pollution levels," Dr. Terry said in a speech before the national conference on air pollution in Washington, D.C.He urged that the idea of a disease being caused by a single factor be reexamined and the place of air pollution as a contributing factor in many diseases be pinpointed.Evidence uncovered, Dr. Terry said, "makes it unmistakably clear that air pollution is associated with important respiratory diseases, such as lung cancer emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and asthma.Aside from the damage to health, Dr. Terry said that the pollution of the air we breathe is costing the nation $7 billion a yr in damages