Examples of the cancer establishment's reckless
failure to warn the public, the media, Congress and regulatory
the FDA, OSHA and EPA, of epidemiological evidence on a wide range
of avoidable and involuntary risk factors or causes of cancer (12).
entire U.S. population, to varying degrees, is exposed to a wide
range of industrial carcinogens identified epidemiologically
and/or experimentally. Of particular importance is a group
of 12 chlorinated Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs), furans,
PCBs and pesticides, which have polluted the totality of the
water, hazardous waste sites, soil, food and the workplace.
- A wide range of POP's have been identified by the EPA (p. 17),
since 1970, in extensive body burden studies on human fat,
and to a lesser extent in blood and urine; more recent studies in
the U.S. and other nations have confirmed and extended these studies.
On January 31, 2003, the Federal Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention reported the findings of their Second National Report
on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals on 116 carcinogenic,
and toxic pesticides and other, environmental contaminants
in the blood of over two thousand volunteers chosen as a representative
slice of the U.S. population; Environmental Working Group and
Commonweal also reported on 210 environmental and consumer product contaminants
in the blood and urine of nine Americans.
- The strong relationship between chlorination of drinking water
contaminated with organic chemicals, such as decayed leaves
in reservoirs, and bladder and rectal cancers; this is due to the
formation of potent carcinogens, known as trihalomethanes (THMs),
including chloroform and carbon tetrachloride.
- The herbicide
atrazine, extensively used in the U.S. on cornfields and lawns,
while banned in most European nations, is the most
common pollutant in rainwater, snow runoff, ground water and drinking
water. A series of epidemiological studies over the last decade
have incriminated atrazine as a cause of non-Hodgkin's and
Hodgkin's lymphoma, prostate and ovarian cancer, while atrazine has also
been shown to induce breast cancer in rodents, and endocrine
disruptive effects (27). Against this background of NCI's silence is the April,
2002 headline news following publication of evidence that atrazine
induces multiple sex organ abnormalities in frogs at levels
in water as low as 0.1 parts per billion (28).
- The relationship between fluoridation
of drinking water, with industrial fluorosilicate wastes (contaminated
with carcinogenic heavy
metals), and bone cancer in young men; fluoride is added to the water
supply of about 60% of the U.S. population, in contrast to only 2% of
the European population, which has much lower rates of dental
- The strong relation between lung cancer and its non-smoking
attributable causes, including air pollution with diesel exhaust,
a wide range of carcinogenic occupational exposures.
- The commonplace recycling
of toxic wastes, containing heavy metals, dioxins, and radionuclides,
into common plant food and
farm fertilizers. These wastes bioaccumulate in soil, and contaminate food,
water, and air (29). Of major concern is the increasing and systematic
recycling of radioactive wastes from nuclear reactors
weapons facilities into building materials and consumer products, such
as cutlery, frying pans, bicycles and baby strollers;
has been authorized by the Department of Energy and the
Regulatory Commission, under heavy pressure from the
- The strong relationships between exposures
to global atmospheric
weapons fallout from 1959-1963, and to more recent environmental
releases of novel radioisotopes from nuclear power stations
and the escalating incidence of breast, thyroid, prostate cancers,
and childhood leukemia, and brain cancer (30).
- The relationship between childhood cancer and radioactive
emissions from 103 aging nuclear power plants; notorious among
these is the Indian Point complex, with its worst safety rating,
a densely populated region within a 50 mile radius encompassing
7% of the U.S. population. High and increasing levels
of radioactive Strontium-90 in baby teeth of this population,
Fairy Study” (31), support this evidence.
- The relationship
between electromagnetic frequency (EMF) radiation from
domestic appliances, cell phones, proximity of residence
to power lines, and electrical and other occupations to a wide range
of cancers. These include male and female breast cancers,
brain cancer, and adult and childhood leukemia (32).
- Some 11 million men and 4 million women
are exposed occupationally to industrial chemicals, and ionizing
and EMF radiation; these
are well recognized as causes of a wide range of cancers,
- The strong relationship between
non-Hodgkin’s and Hodgkin's
lymphoma, and chronic lymphocytic leukemia and exposure
to herbicides, particularly 2,4-D, in agricultural workers,
Agent Orange in
U.S. military personnel.
- Suggestive evidence of major excesses
of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, brain, colorectal and prostate cancers
in golf course maintenance
workers and superintendents exposed to high concentrations
of carcinogenic herbicides and fungicides; runoff from golf courses can result
in heavy contamination watersheds.
- The relationship between
occupational exposure to atrazine and ovarian cancer in women,
and prostate cancer in men.
- The relationship between paternal
or maternal exposures to occupational carcinogens and childhood
cancers, besides delayed cancers
in adult life.
blood levels of the natural Insulin-like Growth Factor One (IGF-1)
are strongly related to major excesses of breast,
colon and prostate cancers (12, 33). Unlabelled milk, and other dairy
products, from cows injected with Monsanto's genetically
engineered bovine growth hormone (rBGH/BST) are contaminated with high levels
of IGF-1, and their consumption thus poses increased risks
cancers. Similar concerns are increasingly posed by the
reckless, and highly profitable, use by poorly qualified physicians
of genetically engineered human growth hormone (rHGH) for unfounded benefits
- The high residues of estradiol, and
other natural and synthetic
sex hormones in U.S. meat, from cattle implanted with sex
hormones in feedlots prior to slaughter, to increase carcass weight, pose
risks of breast and other hormonal cancers (12); such use
of all hormones as growth promoters was banned in Europe in December 2002.
Other risks include hormonal contamination of water by
run-off from feedlots, and endocrine disruptive effects, approximately
10,000 times more potent than pesticides such as DDT.
- The relationship between frequent consumption
of nitrite-dyed hot dogs and childhood leukemia and brain cancer.
- The relationship between perineal dusting with
talcum powder by
premenopausal women and ovarian cancer.
- The relationship between non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, multiple
myeloma, bladder and breast cancers, and prolonged use
by some 20 million U.S. women of permanent and semi-permanent
dark brown hair dyes.
- The relationship between malignant
melanoma and the use of sunscreens, particularly in children,
which encourage prolonged sun
exposure while failing to block UVB radiation.
- The relationship
between childhood cancers, particularly brain cancer, non-Hodgkin’s
lymphoma and leukemia, and domestic exposure to pesticides
from uses in the home,
flea collars, lawn and garden; another major exposure
is from commonplace
use in schools.
- The relationships, with varying degrees
of strength, between breast cancer and avoidable carcinogenic
exposures such as: prolonged
use of estrogen and progesterone hormone replacement
therapy (ERT), as belatedly and qualifiedly admitted by NCI and
of strong long-standing evidence; cumulative ionizing
radiation risks of pre-menopausal mammography; occupational exposure
of some one million women to carcinogens, particularly methylene
benzene, ethylene oxide and phenylenediamine dyes; and
proximity of residence to Superfund hazardous waste sites and
The latter is of particular concern since millions of
U.S. citizens live within a few miles of these sites, and also
Bush phased out funding for the cleanup of 33 sites in
18 states in June 2002.
- The decades old evidence of the relationship
between ERT and ovarian cancer; for women using estrogen-only
for over 20 years, the increased risk is over 3-fold. It should further
be noted that the incidence of ovarian cancer, from 1973
to 1999, in white females over 65 has increased by 21%, in sharp contrast
to a decrease of 19% in black females, among whom use
of ERT appears less common.
- The very high risks of unopposed estrogen replacement
therapy, inducing uterine cancer in one in 100 women annually
after 10 years use; this is much greater than the one in 250 annual incidence
of lung cancer in heavy smokers (12).
- The relationship
between the widely prescribed use of Lindane for treatment of
lice and scabies and childhood brain cancer.
strong relationship between “low dose” diagnostic
ionizing radiation, particularly CT scans and fluoroscopy,
and breast, childhood and other cancers.
Excerpted from Stop
Cancer Before it Starts: How to Win the War on Cancer, 2003
by Samuel S. Epstein, M. D.
Cancer Prevention Coalition
University of Illinois at Chicago
School of Public Health
2121 W. Taylor St., MC 922
Chicago, IL 60612