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Environmental Cancer: A Report From The President’s Panel

While most of the news sources are reporting that cancers from the environment are ‘grossly underestimated’ in response to the recently released 240-page report from the President’s Cancer Panel, I want to focus on the steps individuals can take to lessen their personal exposure to environmental carcinogens. Collectively, these small actions can drastically reduce the number and levels of environmental contaminants.

Children are most susceptible to damage from environmental carcinogens. As much as possible, parents and child care providers should choose foods, house and garden products, toys, medicines, and medical test that will minimize the child’s exposure to toxics.

Individuals and families can reduce chemical exposures by:

  • Family exposure to numerous occupational chemical can be reduced by removing shoes before entering the home and washing work clothes separately from the other family laundry.
  • Filter home tap or well water to decrease exposure to numerous known or suspected carcinogens and endocrine-disrupting chemicals.
  • Store and carry water in stainless steel, glass, or BPA-free containers.
  • Reduce expose to pesticides by choosing food grown without pesticides and washing produce to remove residues.
  • Avoid or minimize consumption of processed, charred, and well-done meats to reduce expose to carcinogenic hydrocarbons.
  • Properly dispose of pharmaceuticals, household chemicals, paints, and other materials to minimize drinking water and soil contamination.
  • Reduce exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke in your home, car, and public places. If you smoke, then seek help to quit.
  • Adults and children can reduce exposure to electromagnetic energy by wearing a headset when using a cell phone, texting instead of calling, and keeping the calls brief.
  • Reduce exposure when possible from medical sources, but asking if the test is necessary. In addition, to help limit cumulative medical radiation exposure, consider creating a record of all imaging or nuclear medical tests received along with the estimated radiation dose of each test.
  • Adults and children can avoid overexposure to ultraviolet light by wearing protective clothing and sunscreen when outdoors. Avoid exposure when the sunlight is most intense.

REFERENCE: National Cancer Institute complete report available (PDF)

*This blog post was originally published at Suture for a Living*

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