Culture

THE NEW WAY TO LOOK AT EDUCATION

War On Cancer & Chemicals Affecting Our Kids

CJ Westerberg, May 6, 2010 8:35 AM

chemicals.grapefruit.jpg

"Some 41 percent of Americans will be diagnosed with cancer . . .
One reason for concern is that some cancers are becoming more common,
 particularly in children."  - Nicholas Kristof


- C.J.

Doesn't it make you crazy that companies still put in artificial colors in just about everything
that goes into our kids' bodies?  Try to find a sports drink without it.  Or on the other side of the spectrum, medicines.  The Daughter gets occasional hives and we don't know what the cause is, yet the remedy, Benedryl, has pink artificial dye added to it.  Is that even nuttier?  A medicine that is used for allergic reactions has an ingredient that can cause an allergic reaction in many kids.  But then again, you can find Benedryl without dye at some pharmacies, if you seek it out, and then you have to pay MORE because they gratefully take an ingredient out?  How does that work?

And we're just talking artificial colors, not even the other mysterious entities . . .                                           

Nicholas Kristof from The New York Times reports today that "The President's Cancer Panel is the Mount Everest of the medical mainstream"  and shares this conclusion on MSNBC's "Morning Joe":  concerns about the environmental impact on health (including in-vitro) is no longer relegated to a fringe group or the granola set.   

This from his Op-Ed column, "New Alarm Bells For Cancer And Chemicals":

" . . .The cancer panel is releasing a landmark 200-page report on Thursday, warning that our lackadaisical approach to regulation may have far-reaching consequences for our health.

I've read an advance copy of the report, and it's an extraordinary document. It calls on America to rethink the way we confront cancer, including much more rigorous regulation of chemicals.
. . ."

We all realize there needs to be more research and awareness addressing environmental factors linked to not only cancer, but also the sky-rocketing rates of diabetes, autism and obesity:

"Some 41 percent of Americans will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lives, and they include Democrats and Republicans alike. Protecting ourselves and our children from toxins should be an effort that both parties can get behind -- if enough members of Congress are willing to put the public interest ahead of corporate interests.

One reason for concern is that some cancers are becoming more common, particularly in children. We don't know why that is, but the proliferation of chemicals in water, foods, air and household products is widely suspected as a factor. I'm hoping the President's Cancer Panel report will shine a stronger spotlight on environmental causes of health problems - not only cancer, but perhaps also diabetes, obesity and autism.
. . "

The recommendations:

1)  "Particularly when pregnant and when children are small, choose foods, toys and garden products with fewer endocrine disruptors or other toxins. (Information about products is at www.cosmeticsdatabase.com or www.healthystuff.org.)

2)  For those whose jobs may expose them to chemicals, remove shoes when entering the house and wash work clothes separately from the rest of the laundry.

3)  Filter drinking water.

4)  Store water in glass or stainless steel containers, or in plastics that don't contain BPA or phthalates (chemicals used to soften plastics). Microwave food in ceramic or glass containers.

5)  Give preference to food grown without pesticides, chemical fertilizers and growth hormones. Avoid meats that are cooked well-done.

6)  Check radon levels in your home. Radon is a natural source of radiation linked to cancer.
"

The Environmental Working Group has provided a list here of the best and worst fruits and vegetables in the pesticide arena, advising which ones are not so bad if bought non-organically (onions, pineapples, avocado) and the ones that rank high.   The worst offenders in the pesticide department are the last on the linked list and include (sadly):

Celery
Peaches
Strawberries
Apples
Blueberries (domestic)
Spinach
Sweet Bell Peppers
Kale/Collards
Cherries
Potatoes
Grapes (imported)
Lettuce



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