BCAN and Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families Coalition
Petitions White House to
Prevent Cancer by Regulating Chemicals
Exposure to dangerous chemicals increases the risk of many cancers, including bladder cancer. As bladder cancer survivor and ecologist Sandra Steingraber, PhD, highlights in Living Downstream, her pivotal book about the links between environmental toxins and cancer:
“Significantly less than half of all bladder cancers are thought to be attributable to cigarette smoking, which is the largest known risk factor for this disease. The rate of cigarette smoking has been falling, and with it, the lung cancer rate (among men). Yet there is no parallel decline in bladder cancer incidence. . . . What is causing bladder cancer in the rest of us, the majority of bladder cancer patients, for whom tobacco is not a factor?
“And more immediately, why – a century after some of them were so identified – do powerful bladder cancer carcinogens like aromatic amines continue to be manufactured, imported, used, and released into the environment? Why have safer substitutes not replaced them all? What is the position of the oncology community, the urology community, the cancer research community, and the public health community on this issue?”
In April 2010, the President’s Cancer Panel released a report titled “Reducing Environmental Cancer Risk: What We Can Do Now.” It included the following statement to the president: “The Panel urges you most strongly 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.” Unfortunately, little has been done in the past year to make our environment safer. This needs to change.
On Thursday, May 19, BCAN’s Executive Director Larry Rzepka brought a petition with more than 73,000 signatures to the White House urging the President to recognize the important role of cancer prevention and work to eliminate the use of cancer-causing chemicals. He joined colleagues from the Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families coalition, including the American Nurses Association, Greenpeace, Health Care Without Harm, League of Conservation Voters, MomsRising, Pesticide Action Network North America and the Breast Cancer Fund.
BCAN looks forward to continuing to raise awareness of the environmental causes of bladder cancer and push for responsible chemical regulations that recognize the importance of cancer prevention.