Smoking used to be considered the most likely cause of lung cancer, but TIME reports that the dirty air you breathe during your daily commute may actually be more detrimental to your health.

According to the International Agency for Research on Cancers (IARC) and the World Health Organization, air pollution is now being categorized as a cancer-causing agent. But while the risk of developing lung cancer from this noxious cocktail of carcinogens alone is low, considering how ill effects tend to compound over time, it can’t hurt to be a little more careful.

To lessen your exposure to air pollution and lower your risk of lung cancer, cover your nose and mouth with a clean hanky when passing along highly congested thoroughfares, avoid cigarettes, and have your vehicle's emissions checked on a regular basis.

(Photo by Yulia Smirnova via Flickr Creative Commons)

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