We’re bombarded with chemicals even before we’re born. Almost 80,000 chemicals exist in the United States, and we encounter many of them on a daily basis. A lifetime of chemical exposure causes a variety of health problems, the worst of which can be cancer.
This month the President’s Cancer Panel released its first-ever report on reducing environmental cancer risk. After reviewing chemical exposure in many different areas—industrial, occupational, agricultural, medical practice, military activities and modern lifestyles—the panel concluded that the number of environmentally induced cancer cases has been greatly underestimated and that the majority of Americans are unaware of chemical exposure dangers and sources. The panel points specifically to the government’s failure to regulate BPA despite its link to several diseases, including cancers.
The President's Cancer Report details environmentally induced cancer cases and risk factors. Photo Courtesy President's Cancer Report.
The report is also a call to action. The panel encourages President Obama to promote awareness of chemical exposure risks and urges him to use his power to remove the toxins and carcinogens from our nation’s food, water and air. The panel also calls out several industries that overuse chemicals, including the military.
According to the panel, the following actions can help minimize environmental chemical exposure.
• Remove shoes before entering your home
• Filter home tap or well water
• Use stainless-steel or BPA-free plastic water bottles
• Eat organic produce and naturally raised meat
• Properly dispose of old medications, household chemicals, paints and other materials that could contaminate soil and water