EWG or the Environmental Working Group has put a news release on their website reporting on the dangers of chemicals, EWG is a non-profit research organization based in Washington, DC that uses the power of information to protect human health and the environment. Now I know it's not here in Aussie, but it affects us all. You can read some of their report below:
"6/5/2010 - Washington, D.C. – In a landmark report issued today, the President’s Cancer Panel asserts that public health officials have “grossly underestimated” the likelihood that environmental contaminants trigger a large proportion of the cancers diagnosed in 1.5 million Americans annually."
“The grievous harm from this group of carcinogens has not been addressed adequately by the National Cancer Program,” the panel told President Obama. “The American people—even before they are born—are bombarded continually with myriad combinations of these dangerous exposures.” Again this is not just American people, it is happening everywhere!
“The incidence of some cancers, including some most common among children, is increasing for unexplained reasons,” the panel said.
“There are far too many known and suspected cancer-causing chemicals in products people, young and old, use every day of their lives,” said Kenneth A. Cook, president and co-founder of Environmental Working Group (EWG). “Tests of umbilical cord blood are proof positive that American children are being exposed to hundreds of carcinogenic chemicals before they are born. Many of these chemicals are believed to be time bombs, altering the genetic-level switching mechanisms that lead to cancerous cellular growth in later life.”
Now this problem isn't just in America, it's everywhere in the world and is the reason I started making my own chemical free soaps many years ago, I also read every label on every product I buy to make sure they don't contain any of the nasty chemicals that seem to be in just about everything you buy these days.
EWG has very kindly given us some tips on how to reduce our every day exposure to some of these dangerous chemicals.
1. Filter your tap water. Common carcinogens in tap water include arsenic, chromium, and chemical byproducts that form when water is disinfected. A simple carbon filter or pitcher can help reduce the levels of some of these contaminants. If your water is polluted with arsenic or chromium, a reverse osmosis filter will help.
2. Seal outdoor wooden decks and play sets. Those built before 2005 are likely coated with an arsenic pesticide that can stick to hands and clothing. Learn more at www.ewg.org/reports/allhandsondeck
3. Cut down on stain- and grease-proofing chemicals. “Fluorochemicals” related to Teflon and Scotchgard are used in stain repellents on carpets and couches and in greaseproof coatings for packaged and fast foods. Some of these chemicals cause cancer in lab studies. To avoid them, skip greasy packaged foods and say no to optional stain treatments in the home.
4. Stay safe in the sun. More than one million cases of skin cancer are diagnosed in the United States each year. To protect your skin from the sun’s cancer-causing ultraviolet (UV) radiation, seek shade, wear protective clothing and use a safe and effective sunscreen from EWG’s sunscreen database.
5. Cut down on fatty meat and high-fat dairy products. Long-lasting cancer-causing pollutants like dioxins and PCBs accumulate in the food chain and concentrate in animal fat.
6. Eat EWG’s Clean 15. Many pesticides have been linked to cancer. Eating from EWG’s Clean 15 list of the least contaminated fruits and vegetables will help cut your pesticide exposures. Learn more at EWG’s Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides. http://www.foodnews.org
7. Cut your exposures to BPA. Bisphenol-A (BPA) is a synthetic estrogen found in some hard plastic water bottles, canned infant formula, and canned foods. It may increase the risk of reproductive system cancers. To avoid it, eat fewer canned foods, breast feed your baby or use powdered formula, and choose water bottles free of BPA. More at http://www.ewg.org/bpa/tipstoavoidbpa
8. Avoid carcinogens in cosmetics. Use EWG’s Skin Deep cosmetic database (www.cosmeticdatabase.com) to find products free of chemicals known or suspected to cause cancer. When you’re shopping, don’t buy products that list ingredients with “PEG” or “-eth” in their name.
9. Read the warnings. Some products list warnings of cancer risks – read the label before you buy.
This is a great site with some wonderful info, so when you get the chance take the time to have a look; it really is important for your own and your family's long-term health. You can read the whole article for yourself at EWG and many more articles about keeping not only us, but our enviroment healthy.