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Small Personal Actions Encouraged by Cancer Panel


The President’s Cancel Panel was established by the National Cancer Act in 1971 when President Richard Nixon declared war on cancer. The Panel has just released their report for 2008-2009.

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The 240 page report states “Environmental exposures that increase the national cancer burden do not represent a new front in the ongoing war on cancer. However, the grievous harm from this group of carcinogens has not been addressed adequately by the National Cancer Program.”

Individuals can take important steps in their own lives to reduce their exposure to environmental elements that increase risk for cancer and other diseases. Collectively, these individual small actions can drastically reduce the number and levels of environmental contaminants.

  1. Children are most susceptible to damage from environmental carcinogens. As much as possible, parents and child care providers should choose foods, house and garden products, toys, medicines, and medical test that will minimize the child’s exposure to toxics.
  2. Individuals and families can reduce chemical exposures by:
  3. Family exposure to numerous occupational chemical can be reduced by removing shoes before entering the home and washing work clothes separately from the other family laundry.
  4. Filter home tap or well water to decrease exposure to numerous known or suspected carcinogens and endocrine-disrupting chemicals.
  5. Store and carry water in stainless steel, glass, or BPA-free containers.
  6. Reduce expose to pesticides by choosing food grown without pesticides and washing produce to remove residues.
  7. Avoid or minimize consumption of processed, charred, and well-done meats to reduce expose to cargionogenic hydrocarbons.
  8. Properly dispose of pharmaceuticals, household chemicals, paints, and other materials to minimize drinking water and soil contamination.
  9. Reduce exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke in your home, car, and public places. If you smoke, then seek help to quit.
  10. Adults and children can reduce exposure to electromagnetic energy by wearing a headset when using a cell phone, texting instead of calling, and keeping the calls brief.
  11. Reduce exposure when possible from medical sources, but asking if the test is necessary. In addition, to help limit cumulative medical radiation exposure, consider creating a record of all imaging or nuclear medical tests received along with the estimated radiation dose of each test.
  12. Adults and children can avoid overexposure to ultraviolet light by wearing protective clothing and sunscreen when outdoors. Avoid exposure when the sunlight is most intense.

National Cancer Institute