Archive for May, 2010

Not So Sexy: Hidden Chemicals in Perfume and Cologne | Environmental Working Group

Not So Sexy: Hidden Chemicals in Perfume and Cologne | Environmental Working Group

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White Gold – The True Cost of Cotton

http://www.ejfoundation.org/page325.html

This short video will prove how little we know about cotton.

Here’s The Photos From Fairfield County Look! Greening Our Children Luncheon May 12, 2010

http://www.fairfieldcountylook.com/gallery.php?id=225

No Silver Lining – An Investigation into Bisphenol A in Canned Foods

http://contaminatedwithoutconsent.org/nosilverlining.php

ABC NEWS 5/17 DR. LANDRIGAN ON GOOD MORNING AMERICA!

http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/OnCall/pesticides-contribute-attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder/story?id=10662790

Simple Solutions to Protect Your Family – Environmental Hazards inour Everyday World Talk

Simple Solutions to Protect Your Family From Toxins in our Everyday World

Friday, May 21st

9:30 – 10:30  – Information Session

10:30 – 11:00 –  Q & A with the Speakers

Wainwright House

Milton Point, Rye

Karen Joy Miller and Rhonda Sherwood will discuss how everyday exposures to common household products may lead to increased risk of serious illnesses including cancer, learning disabilities and other diseases for both children and adults.

Information from the acclaimed Breast Cancer Symposium held at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City in 2009 will be highlighted.

Very special thanks to the presenters from The Mount Sinai Children’s Environmental Health Center (CEHC) Executive Board and Prevention is the Cure

Click Here to JOIN US For This Informative Morning

From the UK Telegraph – Landmark Study on Cell Phones & Brain Cancer

Daily Telegraph UK
15 May 2010

Landmark study set to show potential dangers of heavy mobile phone use

Prolonged mobile phone use could be linked to a type of cancer, the largest investigation of its kind will show next week.

A landmark study will include some evidence that those who regularly hold long conversations on handsets are at increased risk of developing potentially fatal brain tumours.

Its findings may lead the Government to update its health advice on the safety of mobile phones, which has remained unchanged for four years despite increased usage in Britain particularly among children.

But the scientists in 13 countries who contributed to the decade-long, £15 million Interphone project are likely to face criticism that despite the time and expense involved in their work, the data obtained are inconclusive and susceptible to error.

The study was started by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), an agency of the UN’s World Health Organisation, in 1998 to investigate whether exposure to mobile phones is linked to the development of three types of brain tumour.

It was known that radiofrequency radiation emitted by mobiles is absorbed by the body, much of it by the head when the handset is held to the ear. But research into whether frequent mobile phone use damages health had proved inconclusive, mainly because of the short time since the technology became widely used.

Between 2000 and 2004, researchers therefore interviewed tumour sufferers and those in good health – 12,800 in total – to see if their mobile phone use differed.

Some of the studies that have been published individually showed increased risk of glioma – the most common type of brain tumour – among those who talked on a mobile for about 30 minutes a day for 10 years. Many who developed the tumours saw them grow on the same side of the head as they held their handsets.

A summary of the results stated: “Pooling of data from Nordic countries and part of the UK yielded a significantly increased risk of glioma related to use of mobile phones for a period of 10 years or more on the side of the head where the tumour developed.”

Interphone will hold back from asserting that mobile phones cause cancer as the evidence is not conclusive and also because of questions over its reliability.

Its definition of “mobile phone user” included people who only made one call a week, and many fear that accurate results cannot be obtained by asking people to recall how often they used their mobile phones, and to which ear they held them, several years earlier.

Some of the results for short-term use appeared to show that mobile phones protect against cancer, suggesting the study design had serious flaws.

It has been claimed that the positive results could be explained by “recall bias” as people who have developed brain tumours are likely to believe they must have been caused by something, such as their previous use of mobile phones.

The final results paper of the study, one quarter of which was funded by the mobile phone industry, has been delayed for four years while the authors argued over how to present the final conclusions but will be published in a scientific journal next week.

It will call for more research, particularly among the young, and also warn that more frequent use among the world’s 4-billion mobile phone owners means that exposure to radiation is now far higher than the data used in Interphone.

Despite its limitations, Interphone remains the largest study carried out into the safety of mobile phones so health ministries worldwide and the billion-pound telecommunications industry are likely to rely heavily on its findings.

The Department of Health has not updated its guidance for more than four years and only suggests that children should be “discouraged” from making “non-essential” calls while adults should “keep calls short”.

However other countries have urged users to buy hands-free sets or send texts rather than making calls, or to ban advertising of phones aimed at children.

CNN HEALTH STORY: SCIENTIST TAUGHT THE WORLD TO GET THE LEAD OUT!

http://www.cnn.com/2010/HEALTH/05/13/lead.poisoning.landrigan/index.html

Underestimated Cancer Risks – CBS News Video

Underestimated Cancer Risks – CBS News Video.

President’s Cancer Panel: Environmentally caused cancers are ‘grossly underestimated’ and ‘needlessly devastate American lives.’

President’s Cancer Panel: Environmentally caused cancers are ‘grossly underestimated’ and ‘needlessly devastate American lives.’
By Marla Cone  Editor in Chief  Environmental Health News
May 6, 2010
“Patients who have a chest CT scan receive a dose of radiation in the same range as survivors of the Hiroshima atomic bomb attacks who were less than half a mile from ground zero, the report says.”
“The true burden of environmentally induced cancers has been grossly underestimated,” says the President’s Cancer Panel in a strongly reported report that urges action to reduce people’s widespread exposure to carcinogens. The panel today advised 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 lives.”
Chemicals and contaminants might trigger cancer by various means.
The President’s Cancer Panel on Thursday reported that “the true burden of environmentally induced cancers has been grossly underestimated” and strongly urged action to reduce people’s widespread exposure to carcinogens.
The panel advised 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 lives.”
The 240-page report by the President’s Cancer Panel is the first to focus on environmental causes of cancer. The panel, created by an act of Congress in 1971, is charged with monitoring the multi-billion-dollar National Cancer Program and reports directly to the President every year.
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 panel said in its letter to Obama that precedes the report. “The American people – even before they are born – are bombarded continually with myriad combinations of these dangerous exposures.”
The panel, appointed by President Bush, told 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 polycarbonate plastic and can linings that is unregulated in the United States, as well as radon, formaldehyde and benzene.
“The increasing number of known or suspected environmental carcinogens compels us to action, even though we may currently lack irrefutable proof of harm.” – Dr. LaSalle D. Lefall, Jr., chair of the President’s Cancer PanelEnvironmental health scientists were pleased by the findings, saying it embraces everything that they have been saying for years.
Richard Clapp, a professor of environmental health at Boston University’s School of Public Health and one of the nation’s leading cancer epidemiologists, called the report “a call to action.”
Environmental and occupational exposures contribute to “tens of thousands of cancer cases a year,” Clapp said. “If we had any calamity that produced tens of thousands of deaths or serious diseases, that’s a national emergency in my view.”
The two-member panel – Dr. LaSalle D. Lefall, Jr., a professor of surgery at Howard University and Margaret Kripke, a professor at University of Texas’ M.D. Anderson Cancer Center – was appointed by President Bush to three-year terms.
Lefall and Kripke concluded that action is necessary, even though in many cases there is scientific uncertainty about whether certain chemicals cause cancer. That philosophy, called the precautionary principle, is highly controversial among scientists, regulators and industry.
“The increasing number of known or suspected environmental carcinogens compels us to action, even though we may currently lack irrefutable proof of harm,” Lefall, who is chair of the panel, said in a statement.
The two panelists met with nearly 50 medical experts in late 2008 and early 2009 before writing their report to the president. Cyclist and cancer survivor Lance Armstrong previously served on the panel, but did not work on this year’s report.
In 2007, 69 million CT scans were performed.
The report recommends raising consumer awareness of the risks posed by chemicals in food, air, water and consumer products, bolstering research of the health effects and tightening regulation of chemicals that might cause cancer or other diseases.
They also urged doctors to use caution in prescribing CT scans and other medical imaging tests that expose patients to large amounts of radiation.  In 2007, 69 million CT scans were performed, compared with 18 million in 1993. Patients who have a chest CT scan receive a dose of radiation in the same range as survivors of the Hiroshima atomic bomb attacks who were less than half a mile from ground zero, the report says.
The panel also criticized the U.S. military, saying that “it is a major source of toxic occupational and environmental exposures that can increase cancer risk.” Examples cited include Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, where carcinogenic solvents contaminate drinking water, and Vietnam veterans with increased lymphomas, prostate cancer and other cancers from thier exposure to the herbicide Agent Orange.
Overall cancer rates and deaths have declined in the United States. Nevertheless, about 41 percent of all Americans still will be diagnosed with cancer during their lifetime, and about 21 percent will die from it, according to the National Cancer Institute’s SEER Cancer Statistics Review. In 2009 alone, about 1.5 million new cases were diagnosed.
For the past 30 years, federal agencies and institutes have estimated that environmental pollutants cause about 2 percent of all cancers and that occupational exposures may cause 4 percent.
Patients who have a chest CT scan receive a dose of radiation in the same range as survivors of the Hiroshima atomic bomb attacks who were less than half a mile from ground zero.  But the panel called those estimates “woefully out of date.” The panel criticized regulators for using them to set environmental regulations and lambasted the chemical industry for using them “to justify its claims that specific products pose little or no cancer risk.”
The report said the outdated estimates fail to take into account many newer discoveries about people’s vulnerability to chemicals. Many chemicals interact with each other, intensifying the effect, and some people have a genetic makeup or early life exposure that makes them susceptible to environmental contaminants.
“It is not known exactly what percentage of all cancers either are initiated or promoted by an environmental trigger,” the panel said in its report. “Some exposures to an environmental hazard occur as a single acute episode, but most often, individual or multiple harmful exposures take place over a period of weeks, months, year, or a lifetime.”
Boston University’s Clapp was one of the experts who spoke to the panel in 2008. “We know enough now to act in ways that we have not done…Act on what we know,” he told them.
“There are lots of places where we can move forward here. Lots of things we can act on now,” such as military base cleanups and reducing use of CT scans, Clapp said in an interview.
Dr. Ted Schettler, director of the Science and Environmental Health Network, called the report an “integrated and comprehensive critique.” He was glad that the panel underscored that regulatory agencies should reduce exposures even when absolute proof of harm was unavailable.
cell phone
Scientists are divided on whether there is a link between cell phones and cancer.
Also, “they recognized that exposures happen in mixtures, not in isolation” and that children are most vulnerable.
“Some people are disproportionately exposed and disproportionately vulnerable,” said Schettler, whose group was founded by environmental groups to urge the use of science to address public health issues related to the environment.
Schettler said it “took courage” for the panel to warn physicians about the cancer risk posed by CT scans, particularly for young children.
“It’s almost become routine for kids with abdominal pain to get a CT scan” to check for appendicitis, he said. Although the scans may lead to fewer unnecessary surgeries, doctors should consider the high doses of radiation. “I’m very glad this panel took that on,” Schettler said.
Another sensitive issue raised in the report was the risk of brain cancer from cell phones. Scientists are divided on whether there is a link.
Until more research is conducted, the panel recommended that people reduce their usage by making fewer and shorter calls, using hands-free devices so that the phone is not against the head and refraining from keeping a phone on a belt or in a pocket.
Even if cell phones raise the risk of cancer slightly, so many people are exposed that “it could be a large public health burden,” Schettler said.
The panel listed a variety of carcinogenic compounds that many people routinely encounter. Included are benzene and other petroleum-based pollutants in vehicle exhaust, arsenic in water supplies, chromium from plating companies, formaldehyde in kitchen cabinets and other plywood, bisphenol A in plastics and canned foods, tetrachloroethylene at dry cleaners, PCBs in fish and other foods and various pesticides.
Chemicals and contaminants might trigger cancer by a variety of means. They can damage DNA, disrupt hormones, inflame tissues, or turn genes on or off.
“Some types of cancer are increasing rapidly,” Clapp said, including thyroid, kidney and liver cancers. Others, including lung and breast cancer, have declined.
Previous reports by the President’s Cancer Panel have focused largely on treatment and more well-known causes of cancer such as diet or smoking.
The panel criticized regulators and industry for using “woefully outdated” estimates of environmentally caused cancers to set regulations and “to justify its claims that specific products pose little or no cancer risk.”Some experts are concerned that the report might just sit on a shelf at the White House. But Clapp said the findings are so strongly stated that he is confident the report will be useful to some policymakers, legislators and groups that want tougher occupational health standards or other regulations.
“We’re not going to get any better than this,” Clapp said. “This goes farther than what I thought the President’s Cancer Panel would go. I’m pleased that they went as far as they did.”
Environmental health scientists said they hope the report raises not just the President’s awareness of environmental threats, but the public’s, since most people are unaware of the dangers.
“This report has stature,” Schettler said. “It is a report that goes directly to the president.”