Chemicals and Cancer
The International Agency for Research on Cancer has identified hundreds of chemicals that contribute to cancer, and the list is growing.
For breast cancer alone, more than 200 chemicals have been associated with mammary gland tumors in animal studies, and about half of these are chemicals that women are routinely exposed to in their everyday lives.
Air pollutants has been shown to increase the risk of lung, bladder, liver, breast and other tumor types.
Chemicals, including the now-familiar PFAS used in a variety of products, including non-stick cookware, stain resistant and waterproof fabrics, and food packaging have been associated with testicular and kidney cancers.
Organic solvents such as benzene are potent carcinogens, causing leukemia, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and multiple myeloma.
The use of pesticides in agriculture, on playing fields at school, and at home in the yard, has been associated with an increased risk of childhood cancers such as leukemia and lymphoma.
Formaldehyde is a known human carcinogen, yet companies continue to use it in building materials, textile finishes, nail polishes, and even hair products.
Widely-used flame retardants in consumer products have been linked with cancer, as well as hormone disruption, and neurotoxicity.
While we work on a cure for cancer, we need to act on the knowledge we have now to protect ourselves, our families, and communities from dangerous chemicals. We need to invest in greener chemistry and technologies that can sustain us and the planet, and stop the use and production of chemicals that cause harm.