Monday, 10 May 2010
Chemicals & Cancer - USA President's Panel Report
An authoritative report by the President's Cancer Panel, validates the concerns of independent critics who have warned about the serious health hazards posed by toxic chemicals which are blamed for the alarming rates of cancer.
The panel criticizes the government's lackadaisical regulatory approach to protecting the public from industrial pollutants, calling it "reactionary" rather than "precautionary." This prestigious panel reports directly to the President.
Three shocking facts confirmed by the report:
1.“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.” Only a few hundred of the chemicals have been tested for safety.
2. "300 contaminants have been detected in umbilical cord blood of newborn babies...to a disturbing extent, babies are born 'pre-polluted.'"
3. 41% of Americans will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lives.
The panelists--who were appointed by President George W. Bush--indicate that the purpose of the report was "to let people know that we're concerned, and that they should be concerned."
The President's Cancer Panel urges the government to take meaningful steps by legislating and enforcing regulations to rein in industry-generated health threats. Tougher laws, serious enforcement by regulatory agencies, and a radical change from the current--industry influenced--policies that presume chemicals to be safe unless strong evidence emerges to the contrary, are recommended.
Pregnant women and young children are particularly vulnerable to chemical pollutants.
Consumers are to avoid plastics containing BPA; to ingest organic food grown without pesticides, chemical fertilizers and growth hormones; to filter drinking water; and to store water in glass or stainless steel containers.
The report, therefore, lends support for legislation that will curb industry generated pollutants:
Sen. Diane Feinstein's legislation to ban bisphenol-A (BPA) which is used in plastics; and the Safe Chemicals Act proposed by Sen. Frank Lautenberg.
Vera Hassner Sharav on "New Alarm Bells Re Chemicals and Cancer" on Saturday 8 May on the web site of Alliance For Human Research Protection referred to by the One Click Group of the UK.