The British daily newspaper, The Guardian, published recently a report focusing on the generators’ impact on air quality, affecting the health of Beirut’s residents.

“An estimated 8,000 diesel generators have been powering Lebanese cities since the nation’s economic collapse in 2019,” said the newspaper.

According to the report, new research to be published by scientists at the American University of Beirut (AUB), suggests that the capital’s “over-reliance” on diesel generators in the previous years “has directly doubled the risk of developing cancer.”

It added: “Rates of positive diagnosis, oncologists say, are shooting up.”

According to the report, since 2017 when AUB took measurements, the amount of cancer-causing pollutants released into the air has doubled in three parts of Beirut. 

Najat Saliba, a Member of the Lebanese Parliament and an atmospheric chemist who conducted the study, expressed that calculations indicate that cancer risk will have risen by approximately 50 percent.

“Anecdotally, oncologists in Beirut now estimate that general cancer rates have been rising by 30 percent annually since 2020,” the report suggested.

The Guardian highlighted that there is a common observation (no definite data) “that patients are getting younger and the tumors more aggressive.”