Cancer Risks in our Environment

According to an expert panel that has been established in the 1970s and presently giving advice to President Barack Obama called the PCP or the President’s Cancer Panel, cancer rates are at an all time high because carcinogens are found practically in the air we breathe, the food we eat, and the water we drink – basically everything found in our environment.

A recent 240-page report from the PCP points out that the carcinogens in the environment set an alarm for the government to do something about it to at least address how to lessen cancer risks. Whether we are at home, school or office, we are exposed to environmental carcinogens that remain unidentified but indeed exist in our every day routines which, based on the above-stated report, could be from up to 80,000 chemicals we encounter daily. Chairperson of the PCP, Dr. LaSalle D. Lefall, Jr., stated that these chemicals (which include benzene, formaldehyde, and radon) still require a considerable effort to classify and regulate.

Needless to say, people are clueless in being exposed to these every single day and raising awareness is of utmost importance, PCP further stresses.

Based on the National Cancer Institute, in an American lifetime, an estimated 41% will be rendered a diagnosis of cancer and a fifth will succumb to it. This is indeed an alarming fact that the PCP urged the government to address the carcinogens utilized in industry to lessen the overall exposure.

From the mentioned 80,000 undermined and unfettered chemicals in the environment presently, the PCP identified the following:

1. Formaldehyde. This is an organic compound being used largely in explosives, paints, textiles, glues, disinfectants and resins. For more than 20 years, this has been classified as a known human carcinogen leading to increased risk of people getting different types of cancer.

2. Benzene. Synthetic rubber, dyes, drug, lubricants, polymers and plastic production, and pesticides are utilizing this aromatic hydrocarbon.

3. Bisphenol A (BPA). This is an organic compound with effects that are estrogenic utilized in making plastics and epoxy resins. This is considered to be probably carcinogenic dating back to the 1930s.

If the industry cannot do without these highly carcinogenic and toxic chemicals, we are unfortunately bound to be exposed in the years to come. Thus, environmental pollution remains a huge contributor to increasing carcinogenic risks and we could only hope we do not become part of the cancer statistics by increasing our awareness and heeding the warning issued by the PCP.

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