For the first time in more than 40 years, the President's Cancer Panel addressed the role of environmental contamination in cancer incidence. The report opens with the observation that "...the true burden of environmentally induced cancer has been grossly underestimated." The panel calls for a comprehensive agenda to address environmental contaminants and protection of human health.
The report specifically identifies the Toxic Substances Control Act as "the most egregious example of ineffective regulation of chemical contaminants" and calls for the law to be strengthened so that the Environmental Protection Agency can act to protect the public from known carcinogens like asbestos and formaldehyde.
The statistics on cancer in America are shocking. Cancer is the second most common cause of death in America; more than 1.5 million people were diagnosed with cancer in 2009, when the disease cost the nation more than $243 billion in direct medical costs and lost productivity. The lifetime chance of a man developing an invasive cancer is about one in two, and approximately one in four men die from cancer. For women, the lifetime chance of developing an invasive cancer is one in three, and one in five will die.
But we don't need statistics to know that the personal and social costs of cancer are enormous. As we continue our national efforts to reduce smoking, the use of conventional pesticides, and educate the public about the health risks of obesity, we must also move quickly to address the threat posed by toxic chemicals. Wondercideand the NRDC urge to you take a leadership role in the effort to reform the Toxic Substances Control Act to ensure that the EPA has the authority it needs to protect the public from exposure to cancer-causing chemicals in our homes, our schools and our workplaces.
Millions of Americans are living with cancer, and millions more are affected by the devastating toll a cancer diagnosis takes on an individual and a family. Please make cancer prevention a priority and help strengthen the law that has failed to protect us from cancer-causing chemicals.
Take Action against Chemicals that Cause Cancer!