The United States government is finally waking up to the fact that the chemicals we are exposed to daily is causing an increase in cancer, as well as other diseases.
According to the President’s Cancer Panel, “the true burden of environmentally induced cancer has been grossly underestimated.”
The American Cancer Society believes only six percent of all cancers are environmentally-caused, and the organization has criticized the Panel as “overstating risk”.
In its report “Reducing Environmental Cancer Risk“, the Panel is calling on President Obama “to use the power of your office to remove the carcinogens and other toxins from our food, water and air that needlessly increase health care costs, cripple our nation’s productivity, and devastate American lives.”
With nearly 80,000 chemicals on the market in the United States, many of which are used by millions of Americans in their daily lives and are un- or understudied and largely unregulated, exposure to potential environmental carcinogens is widespread. One such ubiquitous chemical, bisphenol A (BPA), is still found in many consumer products and remains unregulated in the United States, despite the growing link between BPA and several diseases, including various cancers.
While BPA has received considerable media coverage, the public remains unaware of many common environmental carcinogens such as naturally occurring radon and manufacturing and combustion by-products such as formaldehyde and benzene. Most also are unaware that children are far more vulnerable to environmental toxins and radiation than adults. Efforts to inform the public of such harmful exposures and how to prevent them must be increased. All levels of government, from federal to local, must work to protect every American from needless disease through rigorous regulation of environmental pollutants.
Six sources of environmental exposure are identified in the report:
- Industrial and Manufacturing
- Agricultural Sources
- Modern Lifestyles
- Hazards from Medical
- Contaminants and Other Hazards from Military Sources
- Environmental Hazards from Natural Sources
Children are especially at risk from these chemicals. The Panel states that ”rates of childhood leukemia, brain, and testicular cancer are rising“. Hopefully, the government will respond appropriately and protect our families from these toxic chemicals that are prevalent in modern life.