The President’s Cancer Panel recently reported that “the true burden of environmentally induced cancers has been grossly underestimated” and urged action to lower widespread exposure to cancer causing against.
The panel advise 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 live. “
The report is the first to focus on environmental causes of cancer. The panel, was created in 1971 by Congress, is responsible for monitoring the multi-billion dollar National cancer Program and reports directly to the president annually.
According to the report, environmental exposures “do not represent a new front in the ongoing war on cancer. However, the grievous harm from this group of carcinogens has not been addressed adequately by the National Cancer Program. The American people-even before they are born-are bombarded continually with myriad combinations of these dangerous exposures.”
The current panel, appointed by President Bush, informed President Obama that the federal government is missing the chance to protect people from cancer by reducing their exposure to carcinogens. In its letter, the panel singled out bisphenol A, a chemical used in plastic and can linings that is unregulated in the US, as well as radon, formaldehyde and benzene. (Formaldehyde is used as a preservative. Interestingly, aspartame, when heated to over 86 degrees Farenheit, breaks down into formaldehyde.”
Environmental health scientists were pleased by the report, saying it acknowledges everything they have been saying for years.
The report also warns physicians about the cancer risk attributed to CT scans, especially for young children.
The panel noted a variety of cancer causing compounds that many people are exposed to routinely. Included are benzene and other petroleum-based pollutants in vehicle exhaust, chromium from plating companies, formaldehyde in kitchen cabinets and other plywood, arsenic in water supplies, bisphenol A in plastics and canned foods, tetracholoroethylene at dry cleaners, PCBs in fish and other foods and various pesticides.
Chemicals and contaminants might cause cancer formation through several biologic process. They can harm DNA, disrupt hormonal balance, trigger inflammation or alter genes.