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Cancer Group and Ralph Nader Release First Annual "Dirty Dozen" Consumer Product List

Press Conference, September 22, 1995, National Press Club, Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C. — The Cancer Prevention Coalition (CPC) and Ralph Nader will release a "Dirty Dozen" list of consumer products used in most American homes, and manufactured by giant U.S. corporations. Brand named "Dirty Dozen" products include: Ajax CleanserŪ, ClairolŪ Nice n' Easy Haircolor and LysolŪ Disinfectant.

The "Dirty Dozen" products contain a wide-range of carcinogenic and other toxic ingredients and contaminants to which most of us are exposed daily.

CPC Chairperson Samuel Epstein, M.D., and renowned scientist and toxicologist, and investigative journalist, David Steinman, compiled the "Dirty Dozen" from data on over 3,500 consumer products analyzed and ranked in their recently published The Safe Shopper's Bible. The good news is that safer alternatives are available for all the "Dirty Dozen."

Nader and CPC urged the manufacturers of the "Dirty Dozen" to reformulate their products with non-toxic alternatives. "Ironically, some "Dirty Dozen" manufacturers also market safer alternatives, "said Dr. Epstein.

"What is particularly galling about the 'Dirty Dozen,' emphasized Ralph Nader, "Is that these toxic chemicals don't have to be there. Yet these corporations continue to expose people to health hazards unnecessarily."

Current product labeling provides no warning for cancer and other chronic health risks. Food is labeled for cholesterol, but not for carcinogens. Cosmetics are labeled for major ingredients, but not for those that form carcinogens or contain carcinogenic contaminants. Except for pesticides, household products contain no information on their ingredients.

Cancer rates are skyrocketing. Currently, more than one-third of all us will develop cancer in our lifetime, and one-fourth will die from the disease. Many cancers are due to avoidable exposures to industrial carcinogens in the food we eat, and the cosmetics and household products we use.

"Americans have a fundamental right-to-know about hazardous chemicals in all consumer products they buy, and the cancer and other risks of those chemicals — information that remains hidden in government and industry files," concluded Dr. Epstein. "With this knowledge, consumers can protect themselves by voting with their shopping dollars and buying safer alternatives."

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