(Don’t eat the food there, either!)

The hazards of breathing outdoor air in some Chinese cities have been well-documented. Now a new study confirms that breathing indoor air also carries significant cancer risks, especially for Chinese women, because of all the indoor smoking that (mostly men) do.

Indoor air pollution that generates fine particulate matter is a key contributor to the high rates of lung cancer among Chinese women, despite the fact that few of them smoke. Indoor particulate matter levels that are at least double the maximum level considered acceptable by World Health Organization guidelines.

Researcher Lina Mu says, “Our results show that besides smoking, indoor air pollution contributes significantly to women’s lung cancer risk in China.”

While around 60% of Chinese men smoke, Chinese women have extremely low smoking rates–approximately 4%. However, women’s rates of lung cancer in China are among the highest in the world, approximately 21 cases per 100,000, while smoking accounts for less than 20% of lung cancer cases in Chinese women.

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