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Environmental Cancer Risk

The President’s Cancer Panel sounds the alarm on environmental cancer risks.

A page from the 2008-2009 annual report of the President's Cancer Panel.

A page from the 2008-2009 annual report of the President's Cancer Panel.

The big messages we tend to get on cancer: Don’t smoke. Don’t have cancer in the family. Don’t get sunburned.

A controversial new report out last week from the President’s Cancer Panel says we need to pull the curtain back much wider to look at potential carcinogens in our food, our water, our cleaning cabinets, our environment.

Cancer caused by environmental factors has been “grossly underestimated,” said the panel, with a tough eye on the untested sea of chemicals that surround us.

The American Cancer Society has pushed back.

This Hour, On Point: why we get cancer, and the threats in our environment.


Margaret Kripke, immunologist, professor, and chair emerita at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.  She’s a member of the President’s Cancer Panel. That panel’s new report, out last week, is “Reducing Environmental Cancer Risk: What We Can Do Now.”

Graham Colditz, epidemiologist and associate director of prevention and control at the Siteman Cancer Center at Washington University School of Medicine. He blogs at “Cancer News in Context.”

Sandra Steingraber, ecologist, author, and cancer survivor. She has been hailed as the “new Rachel Carson” by the Sierra Club. She is author of “Living Downstream: An Ecologist’s Personal Investigation of Cancer and the Environment,” and the subject of a new documentary based on her book.


Watch the trailer for the documentary Living Downstream:

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  • JP

    Americans insane to apathetic about this issue.

    We have no problem with the government allowing corporations to push on the public almost any and every chemical ever created.

    The individual chemicals are bad enough… those in our food, medicines, household and office products, lawns, and agricultural fields, and industry.

    … but we also have to contend with the myriad ways those chemicals react with each other in the environment and within our bodies.

    European countries, as usual, are light years ahead of the U.S. on this front, typically forcing industry to prove carefully that new products present no harm to citizens before they are marketed.

    I have eaten organically and gone to extremes to avoid exposure to unnatural chemicals for the last thirty years, but I am under no illusion that I am not still severely due to living in the good ole’ USA.

    We breathe the crap in, bathe in it, wear it, and can’t avoid ingesting at least a little in our food… VOCs leech out of almost every item surrounding us.

    No one seems to be able to reach old age anymore without dealing with some form of cancer before they die. My family count alone is some twenty individuals dealing with or dying from some form of cancer.

    Americans can continue being stupid and/or ignorant about this issue, and doom each of ourselves to one of the most horrible ways to die…

    or, we can finally wise up and demand that our government start reigning in the “profit at any cost” mentality that has allowed corporations to push on the public anything they can concoct, regardless of how harmful it may be.

    Stop watching your friends and family die the worst of deaths, waiting for your own turn… especially from something that many other countries are proving can be prevented.

    There are natural alternatives and methods to almost every toxic chemical we habitually use… seek them out and demand more consideration from our government!

  • Mr.Trees

    How much longer until we see the ban on Atrazine? It a known carcinogen and endocrine disruptor, and is a plague to the delicate ecosystems that feed from the water shed. Also, does anyone else see a problem with the fact that Atrazine’s manufacturer, Syngenta, also manufactures a breast cancer medication and that Atrazine has been linked to breast cancer? Coincidence? I think not.

  • John Weldon

    I’m all for strict monitoring of “chemicals” as people are blanketly using the term, but come on, people. You really want to go back to the glory days where everything was “organic” and lifespans were what, 20-30 years less?

    All of these horrible chemicals that oft times go into medicines and foodstuffs that save and extend lives, yet are being labeled dangerous and foisted upon us by those evil corporations. This is what I hate about generalizing. Virtually everything in the universe is a “chemical”.

    Rather than throw the baby out with the H2O, how about staying “On Point” regarding specifics, vs. the totality of “chemicals”?

  • JP

    … that is why I referred to “unnatural chemicals” and “toxic chemicals” in my post above… OF COURSE, this discussion and program is going to be focused on man-made compounds.

    … and the “chemicals” of concern have not resulted in extending lifespans by 20-30 years. Presumably, no one would suggest that any life-saving medicines be abolished, and life-saving medicines aren’t the sort of garbage typically found in every cities’ water supply in this country.

    Our lifespans are longer, most notably, because of the irradication of certain diseases like smallpox and polio (which is making a comeback), and the ability to easily treat or prevent malaria, dysentary, etc., and because of cleanliness and the ready availability of food. The compounds responsible for these boons to humanity are not likely those giving Americans cancer, though some agricultural waste is likely harming our lakes, rivers, and oceans.

    … no, the problem is that people aren’t smart enough to realize they don’t need to use chemicals that are extremely toxic, even in small amounts, to clean and disinfect their homes and offices and themselves, and to kill a roach they saw crawling on the floor of their kitchen. They don’t need viagra, and 75 percent of the garbage marketed to them by pharmaceutical companies. They don’t need to use poisons to kill their weeds, and fertilize their lawns.

    Don’t argue semantics just for the sake of defending industries whose products are harming people and/or the environment, or to bash liberals… THINK, and don’t just wait for your child’s or your own turn to suffer a terrible fate that didn’t need to be.

  • JP

    This is a great site with many natural formulas (WHICH WORK!) for cleaning, removing stains and mold, deodorizing, caring for lawns, etc…

    Save this site as a favorite:


  • http://ncpr stillin

    You can eat all the organic foods you like, you can clean with vinegar and newspaper but if you live where I live, northern N.Y. Massena N.Y. to be specific, it won’t matter. There are 3 plants up here which ruined our air, water and land for good. Add a paper mill across the river. At one point, the Watertown Times reported we had the “highest detection rate of cancers in the nation”. We WERE on the superfund. It LOOKS gorgeous up here. Rivers, green, fall colors, snow but it is misleading. I love northern N.Y. for the georgraphy but I do not trust it at all. General Motors was one of the worst polluters and I am THANKFUL they are gone. Now, what clean up?

  • Steve

    biphenyl A as an example.

    The industry writes the regulations for the government that is theoretically examining the safety of their products….

    or the safety of there products is verified by University professors that are living on grants from the companies that they objectively examine…

    or the government official responsible for the safety of chemical products has recently rotated out of the industry they are regulating and will be rotating back depending on the next election cycle…


  • Steve

    The industrial chemicals AND medicines are in the water supply in most urban areas…

    …the result of which is cancers or infections becoming highly resistant to antibiotics…

    The agricultural chemicals are in the wells in most rural areas…

    …the result of which is cancer…

    antibiotics are used throughout industrial food production…

    the result of which is illness and drug resistant strains of infection…


  • John Weldon

    Think, JP? Would that you would have done that before posting in the first instance. You make the argument that disease eradication and a plentiful food supply are two primary reasons for longer lifespans. Agreed. And, not possible without advances in the man-made chemical realm. And, ironically, I’m sure you’ll find more than a few arguments to be made about agricultural waste leading to some of the problems of this type of pollution, so I wouldn’t be so quick to dismiss that were I making YOUR case.

    I’m not here to blanketly support any industry that some members of which may be harming both people and the environment. Nor am I here to “bash Liberals”, a convenient cop-out. I’m here to say that we have to get out of this mindset that all man-made chemicals and all entities involved in their creation are inherently bad. They’re not. You know it, and I know it.

    So, if we’re talking about “bashing”, it might behoove you to take a look in the mirror first. Now there’s something to “think” about.

  • http://www.colonicexpert.com Scott Webb

    We must view cancer as a disease in HISTORY. It has a history! In 1900 the mortality rate was one in 20. Today it is one in 3. Other nations on the planet have a cancer rate of 1 in 20 today and their diet resembles America’s diet from 100 years ago.

  • http://youunplugged.net Scott Webb

    My local station just stated that cancer touches 25 million worldwide and 10 million in the U.S. That means that the U.S. has almost HALF of all cancer in the world. That means it’s geographical in nature, not genetic because we come from all over the planet.

  • Scott Webb

    Part of the problem is the PINK promotion. They are working in sync with medicine, who has taken care of us while the problem has grown 5-fold to 10 fold in the past 100 years. PINK is the “feel good” deception sponsored by medicine. When will medicine’s report card be written for the past 50 years. In 1960 per capita medical cost per U.S. citizen was $287. in 2005 it was 5,600. In 2008 it was $8000. That outpaces inflation by 12X. PINK is not considering the track record, but only funnels money to corporations.

  • http://colonicexpert.com Scott Webb

    My brother is CEO of Optimum Health Insurance in MN while I am a colon hygienist. He asked me how to help his members be more healthy and I told him it was impossible. Why? If people eat fast food, then they cannot be healthy. Why? Not because of what you might think. It’s because the MEAT packers put antibacterials in the burger which passes into the eater of that meat, which then destroys all inner bacterial support of health. One hamburger is a major round of antibiotics and if you look at what makes us healthy, it’s inner bugs!

  • Scott Webb

    I was interviewed as a colon hygienst in my local newpaper which also interviewed a doctor. The doctor said all food passes within 72 hours. Meanwhile, I work with people on 30, 60, and 90 day juice-only fasts and they are removing 5 feet of poop per session. If doctors are wrong about poop leaving the body, then they will be wrong about lots of things, including the causes of cancer.

  • Scott Webb

    One last comment. my pghone: 615-554-9666. The problem I’ve written in 2 books, Inside Poop, which I sent to you recently and You:UNplugged. Chemicals go to THE LIVER, which gets stored there and in body fat. This impairs LIVER FUNCTION!! Then this CAUSES constipation. Average American consumes 1 to 3 lbs. pesticides annually and this wipes out the liver, PLUS MEDICINES. This imppairs bile production in the liver which impairs fat disgestion wich causes constipation and internal build up of poop. This increases toxity and PRVENTS MINERAL ABSORPTION and is an ENTIRE PROGRAM 4 U!! eVERYt5hing we know about health is wrong, it’s all PR, and you know that! reall cause comes from major chemical corporations ………..hello!

  • JP

    John Weldon,

    … reader’s can judge for themselves if my post was as antagonistic as you seem to think.

    … and I did not accuse you of “liberal bashing, but was rather anticipating other reactions to this topic.

  • Jim

    As long as we have soft bribery in the form of lobbying groups from the chemical (plastics), energy(oil and coal), and medical (drugs) industries, cancer is alive and well. It is all about MONEY and greed.

  • Chris

    I have metastatic cancer. I have been SUFFERING from excruciating and debilitating dizziness that actually HURTS. No one could figure out WHY, until, I discovered, after over TWO YEARS of this, that the pain was from the ASPARTAME in my fiber cereal! I know that it did not directly cause MY cancer, but it has made having cancer even worse, and has made the two and a half years I managed to “have” because of new medications sometimes seem barely worth living, due to the suffering!

    I lived a healthy life with regular, vigorous exercise, good nutrition, no smoking or alcohol. By the way, it took almost a WEEK for the aspartame effects to get OUT of my system!

    Thank you for your attention to this important topic!!!

  • Claire Nollet

    I was born in 1961, and my dad was a big believer in herbicides and pesticides. I would follow him around our large garden while he carried his big poison sprayer. I also was required to work in the garden 1-2 hours a day weeding. Also, dad smoked in the house until I was 9 years old.

    When I was 5, the mosquito trucks would come to our neighborhood, and all us kids used to run behind the truck in the poison fog. The driver would get out, wearing a gas mask, and yell at us that we were running in poison, and to GO HOME until he was finished, and STAY INSIDE, but we never did.

    When I was 29, I was diagnosed with stage III Hodgkin’s lymphoma. I always wondered if that could be traced back to the garden or to the mosquito trucks.

  • Greg

    Why won’t this lady be more specific about what kinds of carcinogens we might have around us everyday?

  • Ellen Dibble

    If you live long enough, you will have some form of cancer, maybe not aggressive enough to worry about, but still. Apparently cancer cells are always circulating through us; just that usually they get demolished by our own bodies.
    But the longer life span in this country accounts for a large part of our higher cancer rate. And the greater fast-food industry probably accounts for the heart disease and diabetes. No one has to eat hamburger.

  • Jake

    I am a member of the Vanderbilt Law Review, and earlier this year we published an article about the Toxic Substances Control Act and the comparable EU legislation soon to be implemented in Europe. I was amazed at how spectacularly the TSCA has failed at getting adequate reports on chemicals produced and used in the US. Whether or not these chemicals cause cancer, the vast majority of chemicals are used without independent research on their effects. That’s a major problem here.

  • Ellen Dibble

    I got a cancer in 1992 which I was pretty sure traced back to two things: one, an 8-year span of exposure to something I could pretty well identify. Nobody wanted to identify it. Nobody wanted to connect that to the cancer.
    I can’t imagine why.
    Ditto the other cause. The liabilities, if actually proven in a court of law, up against big pharma in one case, or big industry in the other case, would mean precedent and huge, huge costs. Both in pay-outs to others who might prove a connection, and in the cost of upgrading to safer medicine/product.
    Never mind the cost to me of a team of Uber-Lawyers willing to fight the Masters of Our Universe.

  • Wait one minute…

    I think you also need to look at lobbyists for the chemical industries and you also have to look at the way pesticides and herbicides are marketed to the home consumer- the Rambo of weeds for men. the perfect lawn for women.

  • JP

    Thanks Jake… your post gets right to the heart of the matter.

  • peter

    In the days of the Roman Empire, people sweetened their food with white lead. “What idiots,” we think. Will our descendants think this of us, with our witting use of myriad complex industrial molecules that no one has held to any kind of toxicity review? Will we even have descendants?

  • Robin Ryan

    Why don’t we impliment the same policy as EU? Must prove it is safe before use vs. American policy-must be proven unsafe before pulling from marketplace.

  • Ellen Dibble

    I wish someone inside the Beltway (your guests) would take on the carcinogenic and neurological effects of second-hand marijuana and cocaine smoke.
    I live in an apartment building, where someone smoking even two floors down, makes me sick, night after night. First my eyes itch, then my skin, then with cocaine I get choky, gummed-up, and then around 2:00 AM I have a mammoth headache that lasts to mid-morning. Public health services and governments AND doctor’s offices don’t want to address this. There is no way to neutralize allergy to those smokes.
    It feels dangerous.

  • Amy P

    Does anyone really think that washing fruit is going to make it free of chemical treatment? Think of the delicate, porous nature of the strawberry. A perfect sponge.

  • Kate Durham

    Thanks for having this discussion! Just want to add this.
    Keeping our immune system strong will certainly help if not prevent cancer to grow. Our processed foods, and habits of eating so much sugar contribute so much to
    allowing disease to occur. With a strong immune system,
    we can better resist the environment hazards. Meanwhile,
    let’s eliminate these hazards!

  • Gary

    I remember studying endocrine disruption and simulators in the 70′s. At that time we were reading how damaging herbicides were once absorbed into mammalian physiology. Cancer was just one of many well researched effects of these chemicals.

    Ever since then, and about every 5 years or so, the same results are published, and surprise! Its all new news to the media, the farmers, and the mostly the manufactures.

  • Leslie

    Environmental toxins are the cause for the obesity related cancers, the toxins are stored in fat and continually released into the body causing cellular changes. Thinner people excrete the toxins faster and do not have the continual bombardment. It is not fat that creates cancer, it is toxins. Placing blame on overweight people is a cop out and excuse for pollution, pesticides, chemicals, etc.

  • ben atkins

    Two prominent chemicals mentioned in the report art benzene and formaldehyde – both volatile organic compounds if I’m not mistaken. I have read that house plants can reduce VOCs. So… plants at home and work… good idea?

  • JP

    Walking down the isles of a typical grocery store, I am horrified by the conglomerate of toxicity I see.

    It is sheer insanity to allow industry to market all of that garbage to the public, as if we need it, without subjecting every single product to strict, scientific review for safety.

  • Christina

    “You really want to go back to the glory days where everything was “organic” and lifespans were what, 20-30 years less?”

    Posted by John Weldon

    ***Umm yeah if you actually researched that statement you’d see that the reason that SO long ago we were dying much younger was a combo of things. Mostly unclean water and communicable diseases. Nowadays, every year a new diseases crops up or ‘they’ come up with a new name for an old illness because of course vaccination took care of them! Associations for everything and they want OUR money to try and find solutions when if they just eliminated problems at the source(our food supply), there would be SUCH an improvement on how the world evolved. Now everything is so fast paced, no one evens stops to think about how the ‘band aids’ we are using, is really just causing more pain.

  • Leigh James

    I am a woman who spends more time than I want to admit, having my hair colored & hair relaxed in beauty salons which certainly use chemicals. I have no idea what chemicals are in these products or if they are harmful. The aromas floating throughout some of these beauty salons & spas can be quite ominous, but who knows? How does someone find out about the risks associated with beauty salon products?

  • Wait one minute…

    Margaret Kripke explanation of gene and environment interaction gives the chemical industry all the cover they need from expensive lawsuits.

  • Max in West Newton

    I remember a similar show on WBUR on Christopher Lyden’s “The Connection!”

    As a result of that show (around 30 years ago) I got rid of all plastic food containers from my house and switched to Pyrex, which I still have 30 years later!

    I have been trying to get my friends to switch from plastic food containers to glass ever since, with surprisingly minimal results.

    Americans want “convenience” above all else and are not willing to make any minimal
    effort for a better life (I was born and raised in Europe).


  • Bill Luzader

    Could the environmental “sources” of cancers be responsible for other human and environmental “problems”?

  • http://crunchybits.net sioux @ crunchybits.net

    the idea that people can shift this by making lifestyle choices is great, but as we see constantly, our environment is a web connected all around the world. Factories making toxic plastics and toxic waste pollute more than just the air in the factory itself.

    I can make all the safe choices I want, but if people still unwitting purchase PVC and other toxic substances, my water/air etc is still compromised.

    and now look at the prevalence of genetically modified food. Not at lot of research done, certainly not by independent labs, before the GMO products hit the market. And NOW research is showing a dramatic effect on the organs of mammals. WHile 91% of soy and nearly as much corn in this country is GMO. Can’t wait for the health care crisis due to our “smarter” technology for growing food. And how did that go anyway? Oh, right, now the weeds have adapted and aren’t affected by roundup anymore. Well done!

  • Wait one minute…

    One of the obstacles is that in America, precautionary and holistic is considered effeminite.

  • http://www.safecosmetics.org Mia

    The President’s Cancer Panel recommended that pregnant women and couples planning to become pregnant avoid exposure to hormone-disrupting chemicals – but what if those chemicals are totally hidden? Many of the fragrances we tested for the new report (out today!) on secret fragrance ingredients contained suspected hormone disruptors.

    We need policies that will ensure products are safe for long term, repeated use. Companies need to be making the safest products possible. Learn more and take action: http://www.safecosmetics.org/NotSoSexy

  • Michael B

    Why do we not change the burden of proof — industry should prove products are safe before brining them to market, rather than what currently happens: products are let on the market and remain available unless or until proven unsafe.

  • Walter Johnstone

    Dr. Graham Colditz “seems” to be representing the American Cancer Society’s position which downplays the effects of environmental causes of cancer. This is not suprising when you considering their funding source (see: http://www.preventcancer.com/losing/acs/wealthiest_links.htm).

  • Jean

    How about other likely carcinogens…

    -phthalates: in fragrances in personal care products
    in PVC shower curtains
    in some plastic toys

    -perfluorinated compounds (PFCs): in Teflon
    in Gore-tex
    lining some pizza boxes
    in computer mice
    found in the blood of 98% of Americans!!

    -brominated fire retardants: in fabrics
    in some upholstered furniture
    in electronics

    Etc, etc…we are surrounded – inside and out – and the companies producing these products are not required to prove their safety before their use in the items we use daily.

  • Ellen Dibble

    It’s not enough to say tobacco/nicotine is carcinogenic. If marijuana is also carcinogenic, it has to be said as well. Also cocaine. Landlords need to understand that. City officials need to know that.
    Right now, if a group of cocaine users are smoking under your space, you have to hope they have a baby, and then Social Services can be called in, and those people will not stop smoking, but they will move out.
    The child care people do know that second-hand smoke of the illegal sort is dangerous.

  • Paula Parkas

    What about the above ground nuclear tests by the Russians in the 50′s and early 60′s. I rememeber hearing about radioactive clouds coming over New England. So what’s the half-life of that. I am a breast cancer survivor with NO family history.

  • ThresherK

    I’m curious if the caller (Dave? not sure) who went on about personal responibility, junk food, tobacco and obesity would care to move his family to Cancer Alley or any other place with a concentration of chemical plants and (surprise) poor people.

  • http://users.rcn.com/freshlit Jim Smith

    Both Sandra Steingraber and Doctor Kripke have mentioned their advice to install a water filter on your faucet, but have also mentioned that cost can be a factor for some folks. Plus, there are lots of filters to choose from, and they utilize several different technology approaches to filter different chemicals. Do they have any recommendations about how a consumer can learn which filter would work most effectively and most cost-effectively?

  • Chris

    YES! One caller with cancer asked WHY medicine or the government was NOT recording his information into a NATIONAL DATA BASE!!!

    I have been saying the same thing, including: HOW WE RE-ACT TO CERTAIN MEDICINES, both those FOR the cancer, and those for OTHER medical issues; and HOW we re-act to certain foods and additives!!!

    The speaker said that there IS a national database, but I can attest that they have NOT asked me, as a patient, what ADDITIONAL INFORMATION should go INTO THE DATABASE!!! The medical establishment AND the government are missing out by not asking for the CONTRIBUTION from a huge base of people with major amounts of information: THE PATIENTS THEMSELVES!!!

    That wonderful question by another caller about the SYNERGISTIC EFFECTS of medicines and medicines & chemicals when taken together is ONE of the very important contributions that patients can make!

  • Eva

    My greatest concern is with the kids who are most susceptible to environmental agents as their cells are dividing rapidly during growth.

    What are we doing about NANOMATERIALS, the new IN products hitting our stores in shampoos, moisturizers. How do I know what has them and what doesn’t. I see things with micro elements advertised in some of the products.
    Where is clear labeling- I want to decide if I want to put that NEWLy Marketed product on my kids.
    Who test them, how do we know what those things do to our bodies when enter blood stream through cuts, breathing, stretching skin.

  • Ellen Dibble

    Water filters. I have decided not to use them. I concluded that reverse osmosis gizmos that can be installed by a plumber would be best, much better than what I can buy, at least for the contaminants I worry about in the water where I live.
    Someone fairly handy can probably install the reverse osmosis thing, and I believe it costs about $150. I think it gets the lead and mercury out of water far, far better than competitive technolgies. It is a pity the guests were not more precise if there is as big a difference as I have come to believe. Check the web.

  • Christina


    Just one more reason to be angry with what ‘they’ are doing with ‘our’ money! They don’t even want us to use theses naturals on ourselves! The quote below is so eloquent and says a lot!

    “Is Codex intended to finally save us from the deadly side effects of Big Pharma’s wares, from the health frauds of orthodox medicine, the frauds of alternative medicine, or the multitude of toxins inside all the processed foods at all the major retailers? Not exactly. Codex has long had plans to help protect us from dietary supplements and herbs. Go back and read that last one again, for it was not a misprint. Emergency rooms are always flooded with people who have had adverse reactions to herbs, right?”

  • Ellen Dibble

    Soaking after exercise (once you’ve sweated a lot of toxins out of the fat and onto the skin) is supposedly a tried-and-true way to encourage toxins out of the body. And it makes hygienic sense anyway — or comfort. I don’t know if a cold shower would do the trick.

  • justanother

    DO NOT USE anything says “ANTI-BACTERIA” on any product, cincluding HAND GEL, HAND SOAP, any CLEANING PRODUCT. Anything with “ANTI-BACTERIA” can severely ALTER our ENVIRONMENT.

    Thank you for your consideration.

  • Kim Czepiga

    I was diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer (her2 type) and extensive mets to all 4 lobes of my lungs, and liver…I am a mother of 4 and, unnerved, took a “shot gun” treatment approach to my cancer. I received a round of chemo and now life long Herceptin infusions. I started daily exercise, installed a water filter, read extensively…most notably Dr. Colin Campbells China Study…juice organic green vegetables and drink 16 oz per day of kale/cuke juice…house clean with vinegar…no pesticides on my lawn…and here I am 6 years later with NO evidence of disease. My point? Why isn’t the government doing more to communicate the very real cancer risk posed by chemical exposure…why isn’t the government doing more to communicate the cancer risk posed by eating animal products when the anti cancer nutritional research is so crystal clear? It seems like our country is light years behind other developed countries in protecting us … and our children. It seems absurd that we are spending so much on cancer care when so much less could be spent on environmental regulation and prevention through diet. Thank you “On Point” for taking the baby step of starting a national debate on this critical topic that affects EVERY ON OF US.

  • justanother

    Human medical science should focus on “quality life” instead of prolonged life expectancy.prolonged life expectancy should come with quality life, not the other way around.

  • Patricia Lennox

    I can’t help feeling that large corporations, Monsanto in particular, play a major role in the health of the earth and human beings around the world. There seems to be little to no national conversation about the incredible chemical alterations to our food sources. When genetically modified seeds are allowed and introduced to farmers who have no idea of the risks, when seeds are modified so that they produce sterile plants, when seeds are created that contain insecticides which will become integral to the developing plant, when a company plays such a large and pervasive part in driving what is available in the supper markets, from vegetables to meats to processed foods, this dangerous tampering with one of our most basic needs, cries out for our need to question the casual acceptance we have of these products. We as a nation need to raise our voices. The fact is, corporations, more than ever, control the functions of the government through their lobbying efforts and generous contributions to those who favor, rather than rock the boat on these menacing developments. If we are serious about looking at causes of cancer, we cannot avoid investigating the ethics of companies that operate for profit, not for people. The great fear however is that to do so will turn our consumption habits upside down. For an economy centered on our need to consume, serious change in the ways we do business feels like a step out into thin air.

  • jeffe

    One thing that I don’t see being discussed to much in here is how we grow our food. The recent lettuce recall (we seem to have them once or more a year now) points to how we grow food in this country. We have these huge feed lots that are unsustainable and do immense damage to the animals as well as the water. We have the same with factory hog farms. All of our corn and soybeans are controlled by Monsanto. Who happen to make the herbicides and pesticides as well. Factory farming pollutes the water. Fracking, a controversial method for looking for natural gas is also causing huge water pollution problems. http://www.pbs.org/now/shows/613/index.html

  • http://www.organiclandcare.net Sarah

    Chemistry can be green. The latest issue of Health and Environment discusses Green Chemistry, which is essentially about designing chemicals and their use to be less harmful to people and the environment.

    See also for example, Warner Babock Institute for Green Chemistry, in MA: “The Warner Babcock Institute for Green Chemistry is dedicated to the development of non-toxic, environmentally benign, and sustainable technological solutions for society.”

  • justanother

    Maybe I should say –

    Prolonged life expectancy should come “from” quality life, not the other way around.

  • Brett

    Ellen Dibble,

    While I don’t really care if people smoke reefer (I probably would on occasion if I didn’t have asthma), I do know pot smokers who smoke all day and night and claim it is safe to smoke. Any heavy smoke, however, is going to contain a host of carcinogens; and, with reefer, it is usually held deeper in the lungs, as well. Given those elements, there is no question that the smoke from reefer should be considered a potential cancer-causing substance. And, if one believes in second-hand smoke theories (which I do), then it is reasonable to assume that second-hand smoke from reefer has the potential to cause cancer (especially if one is regularly exposed).

    As far as the neurological effects of second-hand reefer smoke, I would say that there is a potential for the second-hand “imbiber” to experience some short-term neurological effects, e.g., altered motor function and cognitive interference involving memory, reasoning, etc.

    As far as the smoke from crack cocaine…nobody should be subjected to such a thing, first-hand, second-hand, or in any form of the drug.

    It sounds as though you have a very real allergy to the smoke from those substances, something allergists can’t really test for using the traditional means nor add to allergy-shot solutions, etc. Also, the best way around a problematic allergen is avoidance (something it sounds as if you can’t engage in as a solution). I’ve heard your concerns and frustrations before, and I’ve also heard some of the solutions you’ve tried, such as air purifiers. (I feel your pain!) I always hate it when people try to give me advice about my asthma and allergies, but I would recommend buying fresh rose hips and lemon grass and steep them into a tea four times a day (the two together with some lemon are tasty!) and see if this provides some relief.

    I don’t understand why more reefer smokers don’t use vaporizers as their method of delivering the substance into their bodies (no smoke, no creeping/lingering smell, safer for the lungs, etc.). They could also engage in “edibles.” The former has an immediacy that is even more intense than smoking; the latter lacks the immediacy many reefer smokers crave, but has a longer duration.

  • Brett

    The stranglehold large chemical corporations (such as Monsanto and Dow Chemical) have on agribusiness has overwhelmed the industry and our environment. Commercial growers have to buy industrial chemicals from those companies and adhere to the prescribed schedules or they won’t be able to sell to the large purchasers. This is because of corporations such as McDonald’s (the largest purchaser of potatoes in the world) and the many corporations dependent on corn crops (oil companies using ethanol, and all of the companies using high-fructose corn syrup, etc.) who have partnership contracts with growers together with companies like Monsanto.

    If a grower does not enter into the contractual agreements with the chemical companies and the large crop purchasers: NO pesticide use=NOT selling one’s crops! The chemical companies send inspectors out to the commercial farms on a regular basis to ensure that the pesticide/herbicide/fungicide “prescription” schedule is being followed.

    Commercial growers have to sell so cheaply and by volume to entice the large food purchasers that there is no wiggle room for a less than optimum yield at harvest. Any pest/disease infestation of a crop whatsoever and the grower has lost money on that season.

    This industry practice in agribusiness has to end!

    It pollutes our streams, estuaries, rivers, ground water, soil, rain, on and on…Also, no one needs to apply fertilizers/herbicides/pesticides to his/her yard to have a healthy lawn and garden. There are myriad solutions to pest, disease and weed control one can employ that do not involve using chemicals. Likewise, there are many solutions to household cleaning that do not involve hazardous chemicals.

  • Dick Clapp

    The “numbers game” that kept being bandied about was on what percentage of cancer is due to certain factors. This was started by the Doll and Peto 1981 study which had a table where various factors added up to 100%, and occupational and “pollution” contributed 6%. Dr. Colditz continued this line of thinking in his comments, and Dr. Kripke even said there was “room” within in the unknown fraction for environmental and occupational exposures. But, we know that cancer is a multi-causal disease and that multiple factors are involved in every cancer. If all the unknown causes and interactions were known, the true percentages would be in the hundreds of percent (due to overlapping factors in most cancers). This means that the attempt to reduce everything to a table that adds up to 100 percent is inherently flawed. As Sandra Steingraber said, we don’t have to play a numbers game to assert that all citizens, and especially young children, have a right to be free of toxic exposures. This is what the President’s Cancer Panel report leads toward, and we should celebrate and support the effort.

  • Randy Frey

    I was only able to listen to portions of the discussion today. Has there ever been a study commissioned comparing increased cancer rates coupled with the shift away from full service gas stations to self serve gas stations? Not only do we touch petroleum residue but we inhale the fumes.

  • David

    Great Show Tom
    I think Cancer should be discussed every day.

    I was diagnosed with Lymphoma 5 years a go. The first thought I had was. How luck it was just Lymphoma. But why me I was in great health with no bad habits and comsumed all the right foods it must be something in my environment. I wished there was a place I could find more in formation on cancer by Postal Zip Codes. I think that would be a big factor in how our environment effects our health.

  • Ellen Dibble

    About synergism and the 100 percent cause. The panel did come across to me as understanding that 2 + 2 can equal a lot more than 4 when talking about toxins. If lawyers are trying to establish proportional responsibility/liability, they would want a formula to hand to a jury, but it’s clear to me that we’ll never know the exact way all the factors contribute in any one individual, let alone individuals in general.
    My understanding of the 100 percent idea comes from multiple chemical sensitivities, and the idea was that the immune system gets overloaded, and like a barrel that hits the top, suddenly the immune system is just signaling Trouble, Trouble, Trouble, as if it couldn’t discriminate between normal and abnormal. I became allergic to pretty much everything, all foods except green peppers and summer squash; all pollens, hundreds of things. Certainly whatever is in perfume, and chemicals, machinery. Total confusion. Overflow on all sides. Cancer was very easy to handle next to that total estrangement from the environment. Surgery, chemo, radiation. Bingo. I did what a previous poster did, years of juicing my own organic vegetable juice. Careful avoidance of toxins. And my body did normalize in a few years. I don’t eat sugar or anything with vinegar or mold, and certain buildings make me just as dizzy as ever I was, and floppy as a fetus, or worse.
    But the hundred percent that overflowed that barrel was not what added up to cancer (which is a kind of overwhelming of one specific part of the immune system); it was cumulation of environmental “insults,” however, that I do keep learning more about.
    I watch how Asperger’s/autism spectrum disorders are multiplying in our continent and wonder if that is another case where 100 percent, maybe mostly in utero, is causing something.
    I join in celebrating the attention finally being given to this. In the 1980s, the EPA seemed to exist in name only. Phone number only, if that.

  • Ellen Dibble

    David, my guess is that people who live healthy lives and “out of the blue” get lymphoma or something like that are people whose systems might be “surprised” by a toxic exposure.
    I had been in a building with “sick building syndrome,” and several very healthy people got cancer and promptly died, without getting awfully dysfunctional for years and years (as I did) along the way. My body had been giving me plenty of warning signs, obviously struggling, for years, and yet I ultimately did better. My body was in some ways geared up for fighting toxins (partly from a big, big load of heavy metals in my system, I later learned), and I was in some ways conserving myself, apparently.

  • Ellen Dibble

    Brett, hi. Your posts still surface hours after the time indicated, so people looking for new posts are not likely to notice.
    The second-hand smoke issue — don’t worry about me in particular on this. My building has been fine since January (knock on wood). But I actually don’t think the smoke causes an allergy in me, because there are fairly often allergies I deal with, and the smoke is a problem of a different order. And tobacco smoke does not bother me at all (though there are neutralization treatments for that). My building does have tobacco smokers, and they smoke outside on the porch, at least often they do, preserving their indoors as well as mine, but I’d note that these tobacco smokers seem unable to detect cocaine or marijuana. Their sense of smell doesn’t register it.
    I voted for decriminalizing marijuana. I just don’t think anyone smoking it inside is doing it “privately” when it can be so offensive for so long and through so many walls, and it shocks me that tobacco gets so much attention, yet marijuana smokers are still smoking inside, ruining huge swaths of people’s lives. Of course if they were smoking outside they’d get in trouble. A local city here has public health officials saying that no one in the city even “knows what it means to be healthy,” and that rings true where air quality is not monitored, even in the obvious way of segregating smoking buildings.
    It’s one thing for you to say that of course smoke has many substances and some of them are carcinogenic. It is not common knowledge. Think how much work it took to get people to acknowledge the dangers of tobacco. It’s time to include marijuana and cocaine, right about the time we say let’s not criminalize so much. People should smoke on the top floor, or in licensed “smoking” buildings. Simple.
    I do worry about children and such smoke. At least grown-ups can learn to identify the problem and seek help.

  • Richard

    FYI for the woman who asked about what chemicals are in hair dyes at her local salon: (and anyone who wants to read about the known effects of many chemicals)

    Your concern is warranted. Ask to see the label and the MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet), or write the ingredients down and google “Material Safety Data Sheet” at home. These are databases on the ‘net that tell for starters about which chemicals are known to cause cancer and other diseases, required by law to be divulged by manufacturers. I’m not saying everything we need to know is there by a long shot, but it’s a start.

    Sure some hairdressers are likely to act like you’re a big weirdo, or maybe outright refuse, but then I’d find someone else.

    Also Consumer Reports tests water filters periodically, and they’re at most town libraries. Hope this helps

  • justanother

    I have been switching all house cleaners and personal hygiene products to eco friendly ones. Recently I find Borax as a wonderful “natural” cleaning product, it cleans so well. But several articles indicates its toxicity like “sodium tetraborate decahydrate” & boric acid can harm human & infants while it does serve a pesticide on rats. Does anyone know if Borax is safe when using with protection of gloves and mask?

    As far as mildew, I haven’t tried using Vinegar yet, not sure how effective is. I have not been successful using natural products to kill mildew, like Tea Tree Oil.

    Please advise if you will. Thank you!

  • justanother

    Sorry, I meant to say “prolonged life span”. ;-)

  • Bush’s fault

    This is another one of those vague “science” subjects like global warming…not much empirical evidence either way. Which makes me feel like it’s just another money and power grab. Some of the regulars have already discussed legal culpability. See? There goes the argument.

  • JP


    Mix one part hydrogen peroxide (3%) with two parts water in a spray bottle and spray on areas with mold or mildew.

    This works well, as I have used it many times for bathtub mold.

  • JP


    … after spraying the peroxide mixture on the mold, let it dry, then apply a second time. Then clean with Bon Ami, borax, or some other non-toxic cleanser.

    I like using Bon Ami as it is a very effective bathroom cleanser, though I use a cloth mask to avoid inhaling airborne Bon Ami dust as I’m cleaning.

  • JP


    Read about Bon Ami at its wiki page:


    Be sure to buy the original formula, available at any Whole Foods.

  • MANY_MrDave

    Hi ALL,

    ST: Interesting ON POINT topic, AmCSociety
    Ref: Jake, on May 12th, 2010 at 11:23 AM

    Jake is correct that we are mostly in an industry controlled society that supplies the data. Even with government involved it tends to supports industry.

    Now the American Cancer Society coming out against this isn’t surprising. This report has shown that they are accepting piles of money and ARE Not working on the Whole Problem. Losing money is not in their interest.

    Back Later, BTW An Engineer

  • Brett

    Ellen Dibble,

    I worked in a sick building for about 15 years and developed sensitivities to all sorts of allergens and pollutants. It took about 5 years for my body to return to “normal” after leaving that environment so I can relate to how a “sick” environment can really foul one’s body.

    If you consistently get allergy-like symptoms starting at around 2:00a-3:00a, and they continue until just after 11:00a then subside, this sounds like a sensitivity to pollen (which may exacerbate/be exacerbated by an already sensitive condition). Pollen production is at its height between those hours: trees (spring), grasses (summer) and weeds (fall). Of course, it might also be that your neighbors are hitting the bong and crack pipe between those hours!

    I also believe that a “smoke-free” building should be free of all smoke, not just tobacco smoke.

    I also think that restaurants should not use scented candles or have servers use spray bottles filled with scented cleaners to wipe off tables. One should only smell food when dining in a restaurant! Companies that make Febreze™ and Swiffer™ products should be boycotted at all turns!!! And, people who wear cologne/perfume that can be smelled 5-15 feet away should be locked up and considered domestic terrorists!!!! ;-)

    Nothing new on the posting problem. I suppose I could move and get a new IP address!

  • justanother


    Thank you so much for your suggest, can’t wait to try hydrogen peroxide/water formula.

    It’s really amazing how our grocery stores’ shelves are filled with harsh chemicals and lead most people to depend on them for everything. And the industries of these products pass the responsibility on consumers by printing those “fine print” labels, like read them or not, we are at our own risk. How about not selling those craps, so we all don’t have to read whenever we use a product, especially this could be a potential hazard for people needs special care.

    Lots of people are surprised how natural products can do just as good of a job on cleaning and maintenance. And they smell very mild and refreshing, no harsh fragrance.

  • David

    Tell us something we didn’t know. we don’t need doctors lawyers cabinet ministers or anybody else to show us whats going on. Were not stupid as humans give us a flipping break. People see it every day but there is not much we can do, or is there. The way to stop these jerks is to shut them down and not support them. But no one can get together and do it. There’s always somebody who won’t get on board because they don’t support the cause or they might lose there job or they just plain old don’t give a crap.

    Its very close now.

  • http://www.colonicexpert.com/youunplugged.net Scott Webb

    Great show, but the ending was misleading, that lawn care chemicals are a major culprit causing cancer.

    The #1 problem is “methodology” gone bad. In 2010 we have evolved to believe that progress is made on a cutting edge between what’s been proven to be true juxtaposed with innovation. For 50 years medicine has sought cures for cancer using this type of methodology without success. In fact, during this same time, something has accelerated cancer mortality rates like a statistical mushroom cloud, particularly in America.

    However, when your radio guest representing various medical-based corporations starts quoting from Harvard studies, etc., it effectively shuts down the debate without really saying anything. You know who these people are, Tom. What they say is “We are looking into it, but in the meantime keep buying our products and services,” roughly 25% of the U.S. economy.

    The broad solution is that the broad solution has not worked nor will it work. Avoiding cancer will not come as a political solution, at least not before 8 out of 10 Americans get cancer, which is the current rate and it’s not because we are “living longer.” Good God what a smoke screen that one is.

    The solution is a consumer-based solution, but it’s not about “using less chemicals on the lawn.” There are just plain too many chemicals invading our world, not to mention electromagnetic sources/causes, etc.

    How I stumbled into this field was by accidentally becoming a colon hygienist and observing that EVERY client was full of poop. Clients were on fasts from food for many weeks and still releasing 5 feet of poop in one session. I began researching how this could be and realized that medicine would never find the cure for cancer because their methodology was wrong and their assumptions about poop are wrong and people are dying because of it — thousands upon thousands. Meanwhile, the average American spends $8,000 annually on their medical treatments while statistically Americans are more ill than other nations and have more cancer than in all history, not just by a little, but by so much it is literally criminal. Or at least way more lethal than any terrorist nation.

    Here we go, Tom. The cause of cancer and the cure rolled into one and it’s free for you:

    When chemicals get into the blood, they are filtered by the liver. There are 2 basic chemicals — water based and oil based. Water based are easily purged, but oil-based chemicals must be converted to water-based in the liver. This requires a food source to support the liver in this process, a fat. Those who believe that a low fat diet is healthy are crazy.

    The type of fat helpful to the liver is an Omega 3. Lacking those, which the typical American does, then the chemicals are unable to be purged out of the body and then stored in body fat. Increases in body fat is a sign that the body is creating more storage for chemicals.

    What happens is that the liver also stores man-made chemicals and this dries out its tissue, like a tire-rot. The bile produced in the liver then also dries out and becomes concentrated, which irritates the gall bladder. Now we have lots and lots of surgery going on to remove inflamed gall bladders. Yet it gets worse because digestion requires bile to break down fat in food, so the food passes through the body greasy, which prevents enzyme break-down, so a person eats with little assimilation, so they eat more because the cells are getting little nutrition and now we have an obesity epidemic. This doesn’t cause cancer, but it’s coming.

    When partially digested food passed into the colon, water is removed, which triggers a chemical bond between the undigested grease and the minerals in food, similar to glue. What we have now is a lack of minerals reaching the blood and what is that called? Osteoporosis, which Americans have in record numbers despite record-high calcium supplementation. The cancer-causing component is that lack of minerals available for the body creates high acidity required for cancer growth.

    Now what happens is that the colon fills with hard poop which the colon is not designed to pass. This putrifies and makes it difficult to think or feel happiness. Now a person might take pills to alleviate their pains and ills which also pass to the liver to further dry it out and accelerates the process of acidity, toxicity, and chronic constipation. This is how medicine is part of the problem, a chemical saturation problem that the liver can’t keep up with.

    If you want to hear more, I’ll be happy to go on. I’ve written 2 books on the subject, but you won’t find any references to Harvard Medical School or the American Cancer Society. Their methodology is all backwards and inside out because if you ask them they will tell you that food passes through the gut within 72 hours and that calcium prevents osteoporosis.

    My web sites: http://www.colonicexpert.com and http://www.youunplugged.net.

  • http://OnPoint. Karen Campbell

    Related to drinking water: The expert is referring to THMs, my spelling is shaking on this one, Tri-halo-methanes. As a water production worker for 28 years, I must say that some hazards are inescapable. Many combinations of organics with basic chemical such as this one:
    THMs are made from the combination of organics naturally occur…ing in source waters and chlorine used to disinfect. This is under the microscope in the united states, especially in California which has the tightest rules known. See Title 22.

    There is no escaping the world we created, education is good however: what I am hearing tonight is generalized information that excites people. This is especially true when you offer no specifics. Each thing she is talking about needs in depth conversations to give people information they need. Stop generalizing and skimming over big issues. People tend to get excited, then what happens? They call us and we have to spend the time calming people down.

    hile your at it talk have a dicussion on Floride, a poison in higher doses, that people want in drinking water.

  • Ellen Dibble

    Brett, I do get tree allergies beginning in March, and mold allergies on wet days, etc., and I do screen for anything that can be treated, but there are also environmental “sensitivities,” as apparently you know.
    But if several people from South America are smoking cocaine downstairs, as was my case, and early evening each night the smell of cocaine rolls in, that is not pollen. If I lie down (even with various masks, even with air purifiers, open windows, fans, etc.) there is an accumulation of the smoke in my sinuses while I sleep. That is what bring on the headache. Various kinds of irrigation are a first line of defense, chlorinated water, but my specialists who deal in chemical sensitivities and allergies, and they don’t know what to do about cocaine or marijuana. Once the cocaine smokers left in October, smoke was still coming up, and it smelled different. Since marijuana is now non-criminal, I can’t call the police and get the person evicted. (With the cocaine smokers, I was more concerned about apparent major drug dealing; I was concerned for the police.) But if the smoker is a friend, and this person is probably sound asleep by the time I am miserable — anyway, I don’t call the police at 8 AM when I am really sick. You get the picture. Police can and did come over in the evening and verified that was marijuana, but they apparently decided they would have to repeatedly fine the person and then basically get the person evicted without a law in place to mandate it. The person is a friend, remember. Better he have a non-smoke habit.
    The city council and health department won’t budge. The tobacco-free buildings group won’t link me to the state network. And has stopped listing smoke-free buildings. There were not enough apparently. No one takes the issue seriously. No one knows quite what to do.
    To me, it is clear, if even a doctors group that specializes in air quality issues is steering clear of cocaine and marijuana, someone has to gather some facts about this second-hand threat and make them broadly available.
    If I were to move, I’d have new neighbors, new landlords and an equal chance of smoke issues. Smoking that is illegal will be conducted inside if people don’t — don’t…. And landlords think I’m getting a free hit of elysium, not getting choking episodes that have taken me to the ER.
    I did get the marijuana smokers in my building (and outside) to hold off (mostly). But I am 63, and I pulled strings that it took every bit of my wherewithal to accomplish.

  • Linda

    Many of us are ill from the chemicals in our products. I was not like that all my life. I used all the products to clean, on my hair, etc.

    But millions of us have tried to tell our leaders for many years that there are chemicals in our products that make us sick.

    Finally Legislation has been introduced. What is scary when listening to the hearings, one Senator said what if a company came to us if we wanted to ban a chemical and threatened to ruin our election.

    To think that this would be a concern is a tradgedy in it self.

    I am not sure about the cancer connection even though I got very ill at a family member;s house and she is getting over breast cancer and the husband just had prostate surgery. Linda

  • phil

    And to think that I live in a pesticide happy Town and neighborhood…. Cedar Bluffs in Slinger Wi where almost everyday I can find people applying pesticides to thier lawns. Dandelions or cancer? You decide.

  • ahmed

    thanks i am ahmed i work in environment egypt i wish to know how treatmen of tds or tss and mobiel station are hazrde or not wellcome friend really i am happy

  • MANY_MrDave

    Hi All,

    ST: Great/Surprising Topic by USA Government
    ST: Harvard / Accepting of the Money$$
    Ref: Scott Webb, on May 13th, 2010 at 12:28 AM

    “However, when your radio guest representing various medical-based corporations starts quoting from Harvard studies, etc., it effectively shuts down the debate ”

    As an Engineer, I also thought the second guest Graham Colditz was a con artist. I see that in the bio above he is not now at Harvard. To be honest I am not that impressed with Harvard’s Science. In fits and starts it is Good yet not completely good. Hey COLD Fission..

    He easily, off handedly, dismissed 50 to 60% of So Called Known Cancer cases that have No Known Causation. Instead we the public should be due dilligent, work on the 50% we know and be quiet and happy about the remainder.

    Hey Guys, John A, less than 70% is an “F” Grade for a community of researchers that have been sucking money for Cancer Research for decades.

    What Surprises me the most was that this was a Woman Scientist that created this hub bub. We now have had several women, I can recall, who have been cutting edges and each of them have been blasted by the establishment. One came from Enron, One/? Two for the Financial Banking Marketplace with one who Larry Summers (former Harvard President) almost spit upon cause she told the Financial Elite the Banking system had a serious problem. That was under Clinton.

    So Spitting on Her is Appropriate for the Establishment.

    MANY-MrDave, GOP69Dave,
    P.S. I don’t know about lawn fertilizers since it depends on the product and quantity you use. It would be nice to have some studies on air quality and chemical concentrations in the weeks after each fertilization/weeding process.

  • tr

    All I can say is……it is SO about time.

  • http://OnPointRadio J.Larson

    The On Point broadcast left far too little time for listener comments. We could use 1-2 weeks’ broadcasts on carcinogens!

    One of my major concerns, having worked on it for quite awhile, is those in PLASTICS. We LIVE in plastic, even cook in it (not me), and people are mostly unaware of the hazards. Something interesting: when I recently had to have my beautiful “healthy” big dog put down recently due to lung cancer, I’ve heard of 4 other cases locally. One person thought that it was perhaps because the dog spent so much of his life on my thick carpeting, breathing in the carcinogens. Yes. I believe that. And what about our babies, little children? Just a tiny snippet of interest in the sea of carcinogens in which we live.

  • Amy Berenson

    What amazes me in all this is the unbelievable capacity for the general public to take it in–”So sad about Sallie and her breast cancer. What a shame.” We shake our heads and walk away. How many deaths will it take before someone stands up tall and says “No more!” We are incredibly complacent about this huge epidemic. The causes may be murky, but the results sure are not. Two year olds dying of brain cancer? Babies born with tumors? Twenty-year olds with bladder cancer, like your guest. What will it take? If a war, a car, a toy, a person, a virus, etc were killing this many people this easily, there would be a huge outcry. Instead, SILENCE.

    I’ll tell you why the American Cancer Society doesn’t like the new report–because they are in bed with the health care organizations that are finally able to make some serious money treating people with cancer. The Society admits they spend very little (under 5%) of their funds on prevention. It’s all about the treatments. IF we cut down on the number of people who get cancer, the ACS and the healthcare institutions, including the pharmaceuticals who create the chemotherapies, will have a severe downturn in revenues. Lets be real here–THAT’s what keeping prevention research poorly funded. Money, money money money! Greed is good and those guys like people getting sick so they need treatment. Like a cure for the common cold–who would ever let that come to light? I think not only is cancer hard to cure, it’s dangerous to be too successful, and prevention is definitely not in their best interest.

  • http://www.hadayalebanon.com/en Sweetness Organic

    Americans are being “bombarded” with chemicals, gases and radiation that can cause cancer everyday!
    This is just insane….

  • BG

    Ellen Dibble

    I suffer from similar fumes from the crack or meth factory just beneath me. If you can smell it that much two floors away, they’re probably not just smoking it; they’re making it. I tend to think that the ones doing this in my building are making crack rather than meth because they had a cocaine bagging business prior to making their apartment into a drug manufacturing facility. It sometimes smells in the hallways, airshaft & outside of the building but no one else seems to be getting it into their apartments, so I’m alone in my suffering. If I were you, I’d tell the cops. Try to keep a log of the times when it is prevalent & the types of fumes you are getting; it will give the police a better idea of what is being made there. If they are selling from their apartment as well, they’ve got a better chance of being busted. Good luck.

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