[Marxism] Rachel's Democracy & Health News #933: ENVIRONMENTAL AND OCCUPATIONAL CAUSES OF CANCER: NEW EVIDENCE

Mike Friedman mikedf at amnh.org
Thu Nov 15 15:15:25 MST 2007


Rachel's Democracy & Health News #933, November 15, 2007

ENVIRONMENTAL AND OCCUPATIONAL CAUSES OF CANCER: NEW EVIDENCE

[Rachel's introduction: The war on cancer, begun in 1971, has largely
failed. Today, 36 years later, one of every two men and 4 out of every 10
women in the U.S. will get cancer at some time during their lives. Now
scientists are emphasizing the need to take a preventive approach to
cancer based on an understanding that cancer is caused by multiple
interacting factors and not single agents.]

A new review of recent scientific studies finds compelling evidence
linking cancer with specific exposures, namely:

** Breast cancer from exposure to the pesticide DDT before puberty;

** Prostate cancer from exposure to pesticides and metal working fluids;

** Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma from exposure to pesticides and solvents;

** Brain cancer from exposure to non-ionizing radiation;

** Leukemia from exposure to 1,3-butadiene;

** Lung cancer from exposure to air pollution;

plus a variety of cancers from exposure to pesticides based on early
findings from the federal government's Agricultural Health Study.

The new report, titled "Environmental and Occupational Causes of Cancer:
New Evidence, 2005-2007," by Richard Clapp, Molly Jacobs and Edward
Loechler, synthesizes the recent peer-reviewed scientific literature
related to environmental and occupational exposures and cancer.

This is the second report on the environmental causes of cancer by Richard
Clapp and colleagues. The earlier report examined 30 years of scientific
evidence documenting associations between certain cancers and exposure to
cancer-causing agents (chemicals and radiation) in workplaces, schools,
and homes. Both reports were published by the Center for Sustainable
Production at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell.

This latest report emphasizes the multi-factorial, multi-stage nature of
cancer causation and emphasizes the need for a new cancer prevention
approach in the U.S., one based on an understanding that cancer is caused
by multiple interacting factors and not single agents.

"No longer can we claim that one factor is more important than another and
no longer can we afford to have our cancer prevention programs focus on
changes in diet or tobacco cessation while ignoring the occupational and
environmental links," says Molly Jacobs.

The term "cancer" covers more than 100 different diseases. Devra Davis's
important new book The Secret History of the War on Cancer makes clear
that the U.S. "war on cancer," which was declared by President Nixon in
1971, was misdirected from the beginning because it never focused on the
causes of cancer. Today -- 36 years later -- one of every two men and 4
out of every 10 women in the U.S. will get cancer at some time during
their lives.

The two reports by Clapp and his colleagues, plus the important new book
by Devra Davis, taken together, blow the lid off the nation's best-kept
secret -- that a great deal of cancer is caused by routine exposures to
industrial poisons that citizens encounter every day in their air, water,
and food, and on the job -- and that the only real hope for solving this
problem is prevention.






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