South East Qld Environment Campaigners -

>Subject: CU: Cancer & the Environment, Gallon Environment Letter 2
>To: (Recipient list suppressed)

> 506 Victoria Ave., Montreal, Quebec H3Y 2R5
> Ph. (514) 369 0230, Fax (514) 369 3282
> Email ,

> Vol. 3, No. 39, November 24, 1999
> This is the second of a two part series over this week.
> If you didn’t get the first, please ask for it.
>Big tobacco companies are paying out more than $200 billion in
>health costs to U.S. states after finally admitting that smoking
>affects health and seriously cost the medical system. AIDS and
>the Krevar Commission in Canada found that the government
>and the Red Cross were late in responding to requirements to
>test for AIDS in blood, and now have to pay out huge amounts
>to those who contracted AIDS through blood transfusions. Now
>it is very possible that the chemical companies and governments
>who don’t respond to getting carcinogens out of the environment
>may become financially liable for the huge and growing costs of
>medicare and other costs of curing cancer.
>"Occupational studies have played a major role in identifying well
>established environmental carcinogens, such as asbestos, benzene,
>arsenic, aromatic amines, coal tars, vinyl chloride, chromium, and
>wood dust. It is well established that primary prevention is the most
>effective means of disease control. This is particularly true of cancer.
>Source, " Measures of Progress Against Cancer Cancer Prevention,
>Significant Accomplishments 19821992, The National Cancer Institute
>(NCI), Washington, D.C.
>The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has identified at
>least 55 pesticides that could leave carcinogenic residues in foods. In
>a single meal, a person can conceivably consume residues of a dozen
>different neurotoxic or carcinogenic chemicals, from salad to wine,
>broccoli to oranges. “Many cancer causing pesticides and industrial
>chemicals found in the environmental and in our food tend to accumulate
>in fatty tissues, whether in fish, cattle, fowl, or people,” stated, Dr.
>Epstein. In 1989, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)
>announced that the residues of agricultural chemicals on fruits and
>vegetables eaten during a typical American childhood could be initiating
>between 5,500 and 6,200 cancers every year. NRDC found that the cancer
> risk could be as much as 6 times greater for children aged 1 to 5 than for
>adults. In light of these facts, a consortium of 75 EPA experts ranked
>pesticides residues among the top 3 environmentally derived cancer risks.
>Source, “Intolerable Risk, Pesticides in Our Children’s Food,” Natural
>Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Washington, D.C.
>Website at
>Tap water across the United States’ Midwest is contaminated by
>dangerously high levels of weed killer that pose a cancer risk to
>bottle-fed babies, an environmental group said Wednesday. The group's
>president urged the Environmental Protection Agency to ban atrazine and
>noted that water utilities are spending millions to clean chemical from
>drinking water. Atrazine, a chemical sprayed on corn, was found in tap
>water in 796 towns and cities in the nation's Corn Belt, according to a
>report by the Environmental Working Group. Atrazine, in high doses, has
>been linked to cancer. See full story the website
>In 1978, following a public outcry and threatened with legal action,
>Israel banned many toxic chemicals such as DDT and PCB’s which
>had been directly linked in a 1976 study with breast cancer in women.
>Once Israel banned these chemicals, they began noting a significant
>decrease in the level of toxic chemicals found in human breast milk.
>Over the next 10 years, the rate of breast cancer deaths declined sharply,
>with a 30% drop in mortality for women under 44 years old, and an
>8% overall decline. It was found that women with the highest blood
>levels of DDT had 4 times the breast cancer risk of women with the
>least exposure. While DDT is banned for most uses in Canada and
>the United States, it is used on coffee plantations, oranges, and other
>fruits grown in Mexico, Latin America and Asia. According to
>environmental medicine expert William Rae, M.X., 81% of 107
>cancer patients with measurable exposure to pesticides had much lower
>than average levels of T and B lymphocytes (white blood cells).
>Source, “Definitive Guide to Cancer” a source book written by W.
>John Diamond, M.D. and W. Lee Cowden, M.D. and Burton Goldberg,
>published by Future Medicine Publishing, Inc., Tiburon, California,
>1997, see its website at
>Insulinlike Growth Factor1 (IGF1) is produced normally by
>the cow’s pituitary gland. IGF1 circulates in blood to each cell
>in the body, coordinating cellular function. IGF1 regulates cell
>growth, division and differentiation, particularly in the young.
>High levels of IGF-1 in milk has been increasing linked to increased
>cancer in humans that consume milk and milk products (cheese, yoghurt,
>cottage cheese, etc.). However, in 1994, the chemical companies
>(Monsanto being largest producer) developed for the milk industry
>“Recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone” (rHGH) which helps the
>cows to produce 20% more milk. However, the growth hormone also
>stimulates pituitary production of IGF1 levels in the milk of those cows.
>Recently, Eli Lilly & Co., a manufacturer of rBGH, reported a tenfold
>increase in IGF1 levels in cows receiving the hormone. IGF1 is the
>same in humans and cows, and is not destroyed by pasteurization. In
>fact, the pasteurization process actually increases IGF1 levels in milk.
>Furthermore, there is suggestive evidence that IGF1 in rBGH milk reacts
>more with the body than in nonhormonal milk.
>After the rBGH milk is consumed, IGF1 is not destroyed by human
>digestion. Instead, IGFl is readily absorbed across the intestinal wall.
>Additional research has shown that it can be absorbed into the blood
>stream where it can effect other hormones. The Cancer Prevention
>Coalition reports that, “it is highly likely that IGF1 promotes
>of normal breast cellular activity to breast cancers. In addition, IGF1
>maintains the malignancy of human breast cancer cells, including their
>invasiveness and ability to spread to distant organs. (ICF1 has similarly
>been associated with colon cancer.) The prenatal and infant breast is
>particularly susceptible to hormonal influences. Such imprinting by IGF1
>may increase future breast cancer risks, and may also increase the
>of the breast to subsequent unrelated risks such as mammography and the
>carcinogenic and estrogenlike effects of pesticide residues in food,
>particularly in premenopausal women.”
>In an attempt to help some people, milk producers that don’t use hormones
>are labelling their milk “hormone free”. Ironically, the U.S. Food and Drug
>Administration (FDA) is siding with the chemical industry and has prohibited
>dairy producers and retailers from labeling their milk as "hormonefree," The
>FDA states that such labeling could be "false or misleading" under federal
>The chemical company, Monsanto, has teamed up with the federal government
>and is suing several milk producers for using the label. Source,
>The Cancer Prevention Coalition recommends three things that you
>can do. (1) Do not buy or use milk from cows treated with rBGH.
>There are many brands without it, especially certified organic milk.
> (2) Contact your local supermarket and find out if they have a
>policy regarding rBGH and milk. Make clear that you would like
>rBGHfree milk available. And (3) write to Health Canada and the
>U.S. FDA and express your concern that they not restrict the
>labeling of rBGHfree milk. Source of this information is at the website
>In 1971, the Food and Drug Administration told doctors to stop
>prescribing DES, or diethylstilbestrol, to expectant mothers as a
>treatment option for preventing miscarriages because a rare
>vaginal cancer called clear cell adenocarcinoma was occurring at
>unusually high rates in daughters of women who had taken the drug. 
>The disease most often struck at between 15 and 27 years of age. 
>New research presented last week at a National Institutes of Health
>meeting found that women who were exposed before birth to DES
>appear to have an increased risk of health problems throughout life,
>including occurrence of the cancer later in life, miscarriages, ectopic
>pregnancies,  stillbirths, premature births, and autoimmune diseases.
>Men exposed before birth to DES have an increased risk of genital
>malformations and, some studies suggest, testicular cancer. Two new
>studies in mice suggest that DES may affect future generations. 
>Source, "DES Exposure Found to Pose Lifelong Risk. New Research
>Suggests Effects May Extend to Grandchildren of Women Who Took
>the Drug." Washington Post Health, 27 July 99, 9.
>Junk food, like hotdogs may well contribute to cancer. The Cancer
>Prevention Coalition (CPC) in Chicago reported that, “three different
>studies have come out in the past year, finding that the consumption
>of hot dogs can be a risk factor for childhood cancer. Peters et al.
>studied the relationship between the intake of certain foods and the
>risk of leukemia in children from birth to age 10 in Los Angeles
>County between 1980 and 1987. The study found that children
>eating more than 12 hot dogs per month have nine times the normal
>risk of developing childhood leukemia. A strong risk for childhood
>leukemia also existed for those children whose fathers' intake of hot
>dogs was 12 or more per month. Researchers Sarusua and Savitz
>studied childhood cancer cases in Denver and found that children
>born to mothers who consumed hot dogs one or more times per
>week during pregnancy has approximately double the risk of
>developing brain tumors. Children who ate hot dogs one or more
>times per week were also at higher risk of brain cancer. Bunin et.
>al, also found that maternal consumption of hot dogs during
>pregnancy was associated with an excess risk of childhood brain
>The CPC further reported that, “hot dogs contain nitrites which are
>used as preservatives, primarily to combat botulism. During the
>cooking process, nitrites combine with amines naturally present in
>meat to form carcinogenic Nnitroso compounds. It is also suspected
>that nitrites can combine with amines in the human stomach to form
>Nnitroso compounds. These compounds are known carcinogens and
>have been associated with cancer of the oral cavity, urinary bladder,
>esophagus, stomach and brain”. Source website
>Gentrian violet is a carcinogen used to treat chickens and turkeys
>for diseases caused by fungus. It is added to poultry feed to inhibit
>mold. Nitrofurans (nitrofurazone and furazolidone) are added
>to livestock feed to increase the growth rates, particularly of pigs,
>chicken and turkeys. Another additive, aldicarb, has been associated
>with altered immune functions in women who consume food
>contaminated with small amounts of this additive.
>Other food additives that may increase the risk of certain kinds of
>cancer include Blue Dye No. 2 (propyl gallate), and Red Dye No. 3
>used to colour meats, smoked meats, salami, bologna (etc.). According
>to Michael F. Jacobson, Ph.D., of the Center for Science and the
>Public Interest, “these additives are linked with cancers”. Source,
>“Definitive Guide to Cancer” a source book written by W. John
>Diamond, M.D. and W. Lee Cowden, M.D. and Burton Goldberg,
>published by Future Medicine Publishing, Inc., Tiburon, California,
>1997, see its website at
>Some chemicals found in the house can contribute to cancer. For
>instance, methylene chloride (also known as dichloromethane),
>the propellant used in many aerosol products, is carcinogenic.
>Although some products containing methylene chloride have been
>pulled from the market, this carcinogen continues to be found in many
>consumer products such as spray paint and stripper. More recently, it
>was learned that indoor latex paints used widely for decades contained
>highly neurotoxic mercurybased fungicides. But it was not until 1990
>that manufacturers finally removed most of these potent neurotoxins.
>The Cancer Prevention Coalition reports that long term exposure to
>indoor pollution can result in lung cancer, or damage to the liver,
>kidneys, and central nervous system. Certain cleansers and many brands
>of cat litter contain the carcinogen crystalline silica. Some car cleaning
>products contain formaldehyde.
>Non carcinogenic alternatives are available. For example, Baking
>Soda is an excellent cleaner and deodorizer. Borax is an excellent
>disinfectant. Distilled White Vinegar is also safe and an excellent
>cleaner, available in both supermarkets and health food stores.
>Essential Oils distilled from plant oils, essential oils are less allergenic
>than synthetic fragrances. They add a pleasing fragrance to your
>cleaning formulas. Hydrogen peroxide is an alternative to bleach,
>available at supermarkets and drugstores. Lemon juice is an excellent
>cleaner, available in both health food stores and supermarkets. Liquid
>Soaps are an alternative to harsher detergents and other cleaning agents,
>available in health food stores and supermarkets. Pumice Stone is a
>good for stain removing. Sodium Perborate is an alternative to standard
>bleaches made with sodium hypochlorite. It is also an alternative to
>standard bleaches, available from chemical supply companies.
>Trisodium phosphate (TSP) is a powerful cleaning material, TSP can
>be irritating and caustic; it does not pose longterm health hazards
>such as carcinogenicity, neurotoxicity, or reproductive effects. Be
>aware that some products with the name TSP on their container do
>not actually contain Trisodium phosphate. Available at supermarkets,
>drugstores, and hardware stores. Washing Soda (also known as sodium
>carbonate, soda ash, and sal soda) is a strong cleaner, as an alternative
>to the chemical cleaners. Zeolite is a naturally occurring mineral which
>is an excellent deodorizer and available from G&W Supply, 1441, W.
>46th Avenue #31, Denver, Colorado 80211, ph. (303) 4558834. For
> more information you can contact, Cancer Prevention Coalition c/o
>School of Public Health University of Illinois Medical Center, 2121
>West Taylor Street, Chicago, IL 60612, Tel. (312) 9962297, Fax (312)
>9961374, Email
>Cancer doesn’t occur the next day. It takes decades to fester and blossom
>as a full blown cancer in a human body. Working in buildings with “Sick
>Building Syndrome” can contribute to cancer. Sources of indoor toxic
>pollution include volatile organic compounds released from particle board,
>plasticized furniture, carpets, glues, paints, office machine toners, and air
>fresheners. All contribute to a complex mixture of very low level of
>pollutants, states Dr. Michael Hodgson, M.D., M.P.H., of the School of
>Medicine, University of Connecticut Health Centre in Farmington,
>Connecticut. Dr. Hodgson reports that the carcinogenic effects of
>certain indoor air pollutants, such as asbestos, environmental tobacco
>smoke, radon and formaldehyde, are well described in the clinical
>literature and are now consider cancer risk factors. Source, “Definitive
>Guide to Cancer” a source book written by W. John Diamond, M.D.
>and W. Lee Cowden, M.D. and Burton Goldberg, published by
>Future Medicine Publishing, Inc., Tiburon, California, 1997, see its
> website at
>In 1999, one in two American men and one in three American women
>will get cancer. In the 1950s, one in four Americans were afflicted with
>this deadly disease. Despite the expenditure of $25 billion since the war
>on cancer was declared by President Nixon in 1971, cancer rates have
>soared. Why? In a recently released book, Dr. Samuel Epstein reveals
>evidence implicating industrial carcinogens that permeate our environment,
>in our foods, our air, our water, our consumer products. And he blames the
>National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the American Cancer Society (ACS),
>what he calls "the cancer establishment," for ignoring these causes and
>instead spending billions on the elusive search for a magic bullet cure for
>cancer. Source, “The Politics of Cancer Revisited”, by Dr. Samuel Epstein
>East Ridge Press, Fremont Center, New York, 1998. Copies can be
>obtained through Dr. Epstein's web site at ,
>or from the publisher by calling 18002692921).
>Dr. Samuel Epstein points out, from 1950 to 1998, the overall incidence
>of cancer rose about 60 percent, with much higher increases for cancer
>of some organs. For nonHodgkins lymphoma and multiple myeloma,
>the increase has been 200 percent. Breast cancers have increased by 60
>percent. Prostate cancer has increased 200 percent. For testicular cancer
>in men of the ages 28 to 35, there has been a 300 percent increase since
>1950. And don't let anybody fool you into thinking that the cancer rate
>increase is because the population is getting older these rates are age
>adjusted. The cancer rates of a group of 50 year old men in 1990, for
>example, are compared to the cancer rates of a group of men in 1950.
>Dr. Epstein asks, “why is the cancer establishment losing the war
>against cancer? "The cancer establishment is fixated on damage
>control, diagnosis, treatment and basic genetic research, and is
>indifferent, if not sometimes hostile, to cancer prevention, in other
>words, getting carcinogens out of the environment.
>Many cancers in Ontario are on the rise, according to a new report,
>“Everyday Carcinogens, Stopping Cancer Before It Starts”, by Liz
>Armstrong, for the Canadian Breast Cancer Prevention Coalition,
>released March 26, 1999. The report was commissioned for a
>conference on cancer prevention in Hamilton, Ontario. According to
>the report, in Ontario there has been a 29% increase in breast cancer,
>a 106% increase in NonHodgkin's lymphoma, a 349% increase in
>women's lung cancer, a 116% increase in melanoma and a 146%
>increase in thyroid cancer for women in the past 30 years. For men,
>there has been a 102% increase in prostate cancer, a 273% increase in
>melanoma, a 115% increase in NonHodgkins lymphoma, a 65%
>increase in testicular cancer, and a 133% increase in thyroid cancer.
>"The problem is that these people are suffering from this disease,
>and often dying, unnecessarily," noted Dr. Sam Epstein, perhaps the
>world's most influential critic of cancer policy and the author of the
>book, The Politics of Cancer Revisited. "In Ontario, the focus is still
>on finding the cure rather than preventing this epidemic." Dr. Epstein,
>a Professor of Occupational Health and Environmental Medicine at
>the University of Illinois School of Public Health, stated that a
>significant number of cancers are attributable to environmental and
>workplace carcinogens and are therefore preventable. "Few Canadians
>in Ontario know that there has been an increase in many cancers that are
>linked to environmental and workplace causes. Moreover, cancer is a
>leading cause of death and is placing a huge strain on the health care
>system," according to, author of the report. You can call Liz Armstrong,
>Breast Cancer Prevention Coalition ph. (519) 833.7202. See the Canadian
>Environmental Law Association’s (CELA) website at
>In 1964, two senior scientists at the National Cancer Institute,
>Wilhelm Hueper and W.C. Conway, wrote, "Cancers of all types
>and all causes display even under already existing conditions, all
>the characteristics of an epidemic in slow motion." The unfolding
>epidemic was being fueled, they said in 1964, by "increasing
>contamination of the human environment with chemical
>and physical carcinogens and with chemicals supporting and
>potentiating their action."[1,pg.43] Their words were met with silence.
>The World Health Organization (WHO) maintains and analyzes cancer
>mortality (death) data from 70 countries. WHO research shows
>that industrialized countries have far more cancers than
>countries with little industry (after adjusting for age and
>population size). Onehalf of all the world's cancers occur among
>people living in industrialized countries, even though such
>people are only onefifth of the world's population.[1,pg.59]
>>From these data, WHO has concluded that at least 80 percent of
>all cancer is attributable to environmental influences.[1,pg.60]
>In the U.S., the cancer epidemic described by Hueper and Conway
>in 1964 has been progressing steadily. In 1950, 25 percent of
>adults in the U.S. could expect to get cancer during their
>lifetimes. Today about 40 percent of North Americans (38.3%
>of women, 48.2% of men) can expect to get cancer. Omitting
>lung cancer from the statistics, the incidence (occurrence) of cancer
>increased 35% in the U.S. between 1950 and 1991. If we include
>lung cancers, then cancer incidence increased 49.3% between 1950
>and 1991.[1,pg.40]. Source, Rachel Newsletter, P.O. Box 5036,
>Annapolis, MD 21403, Fax (410) 2638944; email
>Website at
>Viewing the same phenomenon from another vantage point: white
>women born in the U.S. in the 1940s have experienced 30 percent
>more nonsmokingrelated cancers than did women of their
>grandmothers' generation (women born between 1888 and 1897).
>Among men, the differences are even sharper. White men born in
>the 1940s have more than twice as much nontobaccorelated cancer
>as their grandfathers did at the same age.[1,pg.45] (Historic
>data are missing for nonwhites.) In the U.S. today, in the age group
>35 to 64, cancer is the number one killer.
>Sandra Steingraber's new book, “Living Downstream, An Ecologist
>Looks as Cancer and the Environment”, has been greeted with nearly
>total silence amongst the cancer establishment. Published by Addison
>Wesley, the book is a major publishing event. In hard back, it has
>270 pages, including 77 pages of references in small type at the
>back. At age 38, the author is an accomplished researcher,
>writer and teacher with a Ph.D. in biology from University of
>Michigan who has obviously spent years preparing the manuscript,
>visiting special libraries, interviewing cancer researchers, and
>applying her scientific training to the diverse evidence linking
>cancer to environmental contamination. Source, Peter Montague,
>Editor, Environmental Research Foundation, P.O. Box 5036,
>Annapolis, Maryland 214037036, ph. 1.888.2RACHEL.
>Our cities purify our sewage laden drinking water from lakes and
>rivers with chlorine to kill the bacteria. Our swimming pools are loaded
>with chlorine to accommodate the hundreds of people that swim in them.
>Yet chlorine in our water may be a source of increased rates of cancer.
>For example, “consuming chlorinated drinking water is associated with
>a 20 to 40% increase in the incidence of colon and rectal cancer,
>according to the results of a Norwegian study published in the
>“International Journal of Epidemiology in 1992. Another study done
>by Harvard University and the Medical College of Wisconsin found
>that the consumption of chlorinated drinking water accounts for 15%
>of all rectal cancers and 9% of all bladder cancers in North America.
>That’s an additional 6,500 cases of rectal cancer and 4,200 cases of
>bladder cancer each year. The study found that people drinking chlorinated
>water over long periods of time have a 38% increase in their chances of
>contracting rectal cancer and a 21% increase in the risk of contracting
>bladder cancer.
>The dangers from inhaling chlorine can exceed those derived from
>drinking chlorinated water. The amount of chloroform, the most
>common trihalomethane in chlorinated water, in haled or absorbed
>through the skin during a typical shower may be 6 times higher than
>that absorbed from chlorinated drinking water, states the “International
>Health News”. Source, “Definitive Guide to Cancer” a source book
>written by W. John Diamond, M.D. and W. Lee Cowden, M.D. and
>Burton Goldberg, published by Future Medicine Publishing, Inc.,
>Tiburon, California, 1997, see its website at >
> ********************************************
> ***************************************************************
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> xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
> Copyright (c) 1999 Canadian Institute for
> Business and the Environment, Montreal
> All rights reserved.
Bruce Moon

School of Planning, Landscape Architecture & Surveying
Queensland University of Technology
Brisbane Q 4001


tel: +61 [0]7 3864 1731
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