Daily News Archive
From September 26, 2005
Environmental and Occupational Exposures to Cancers
“Environmental and Occupational Causes of Cancer: A Review of Recent Scientific Evidence” shows that many cancer cases and deaths are caused or contributed to by involuntary exposures. These include: bladder cancer from the primary solvent used in dry cleaning, breast cancer from endocrine disruptors like bisphenol-A and other plastics components, lung cancer from residential exposure to radon, non-Hodgkin¹s lymphoma from solvent and herbicide exposure, and childhood leukemia from pesticides.
“We need to
pay attention to environmental and occupational risk factors,” said
Molly Jacobs, project manager. “Known and preventable exposures
are clearly responsible for tens of thousands of excess cancer cases each
year. It is unconscionable not to implement policy changes that we know
will prevent sickness and death.”
Despite notable gains
in reducing incidence and mortality rates for certain cancers, the authors
lament that cancer constitutes a growing burden on society. They note
that the mortality rate for all cancers combined (excluding non-melanoma
skin cancer) is the same today as it was in the 1940s and the annual rate
of new cases increased by 85 percent over the past 50 years.
The report disputes the often-cited, 25 year-old analysis by Sir Richard Doll and Richard Peto that attributes only 2 to 4 percent of cancers to involuntary environmental and occupational exposures. “Our review makes it clear that new knowledge about multiple causes of cancer, including involuntary exposures, early-life exposures, synergistic effects, and genetic factors, renders making such estimates not just pointless, but counterproductive,” Dr. Clapp said.
The full press release, Executive Summary, and report are available at: http://www.sustainableproduction.org/pres.shtml
TAKE ACTION: Write to U.S.EPA Acting Administrator Stephen Johnson to let him know that they have a duty to alert the public to the scientific findings (laboratory and epidemiologic) that link pesticides and other environmental exposures with cancer. In addition, urge EPA officials to initiate an urgent and expedited review of pesticides' link to cancer.