Cancer Panel Fingers Toxic Chemicals

householdchemsThis post on the link between toxic chemicals and cancer from 2010 has been updated on 9/19/2016 to include a link at the bottom to the most recent report from The President’s Cancer Panel.

In a report from the mainstream of scientific and medical thinking, the President’s Cancer Panel released a report in May, 2010 declaring that chemicals threaten our health.  This validates the concerns that many people have had about the effects of toxins on our health.

The panel is not some environmental fringe group with an agenda.  Established in 1971, the panel reports directly to the president and is comprised of 3 distinguished experts who review America’s cancer program.

In their 200 page report, the Cancer Panel recommends a much more vigorous regulation of chemicals, concluding that chemicals can have a far-reaching impact on our health.

We are exposed to toxic chemicals in the air we breathe, in the water we drink, and in the food we eat.  The proliferation of chemicals in water, air, foods, and household products is suspected as a factor in the increase in some cancers, particularly in children. 

There are over 80,000 chemicals in use in the United States and only a few hundred have been tested for safety.  Under the current regulatory framework it is presumed that these chemicals are safe unless there is strong evidence to the contrary.

We come in contact with toxins both inside and outside our homes.  The average home uses and stores more than 60 hazardous products, including household cleaners, automotive products, paints, solvents and pesticides.  EPA studies of human exposure to air pollutants indicate that indoor air levels of many pollutants may be 2-5 times higher than outdoor levels.  Even many skincare products on the market today contain toxic chemicals.

Exposure to toxins during pregnancy can carry an especially high risk of damage.  In one study, over 300 contaminants were detected in the umbilical cord blood of newborn babies.  It appears that our children are being born “pre-polluted”.  In another nationwide study it was found that children exposed to higher levels of a pesticide used on commercially grown fruit and vegetables are more likely to have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

What can we do to protect ourselves and our families?  The Cancer Panel report recommends the following:

  • Support efforts to improve the safety of chemicals on the market.
  • Especially when pregnant and when children are small, select foods, toys, and garden products with fewer endocrine disruptors or other toxins.
  • If your job exposes you to chemicals, remove your shoes when entering the house and wash your work clothes separately from the other laundry.
  • Avoid storing or drinking water in containers that contain BPA or phthalates.
  • Microwave food in ceramic or glass containers.
  • Consume food grown or produced without growth hormones, chemical fertilizers, and pesticides.
  • Filter drinking water.

Here are some additional recommendations from “How To Survive on a Toxic Planet” by Dr.  Steve Nugent:

  • Use Eco-friendly Household cleaners.
  • Read labels carefully.
  • Make your home safer from the dangers of pesticides.
  • Get air cleaners for your home.
  • Help strengthen and protect your body by consuming foods rich in anti-oxidants.  (Since it is almost impossible to get enough anti-oxidants from our modern diet, anti-oxidant supplements are recommended.)
  • Avoid environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) known as “second-hand smoke”.

Our bodies, especially our livers and kidneys, have become saturated with toxins that we’ve absorbed over time.  Fortunately there are safe methods available to flush this “toxic load” from our bodies.  You can find more information here.

Where possible, toxins should be avoided.  By using and/or abusing tobacco, alcohol, and drugs (including prescription medications) we ingest toxins.  Prescription medications are toxic by definition.

The most recent report of the President’s Cancer Panel was published on Sept. 7, 2016 and can be found here.

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