A few years ago, a librarian from Arizona started researching the possible relationship between estrogen and cancer. What she found disturbed her. And there were disturbing statistics: “The probability that a resident of the United States will develop cancer at some point in his or her lifetime is 1 in 2 for men and 1 in 3 for women” (American Cancer Society, 1999).
Ironically, the 12th Report on Carcinogens (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2011) states, “Many experts firmly believe that much of the cancer associated with the environment may be avoided.”
According to Webster’s World Encyclopedia 2002, in June 1998 the Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) added the 18 millionth chemical substance to its database. Can you imagine how many have been added since 1998?
We live in a sea of chemicals. They have brought us many benefits. But some have also brought negative consequences. The EPA’s Chemical Right-to-Know Initiative studies potential health risks to children from chemicals found in the environment. The EPA also sponsors the Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program to study the effects of hormone-altering chemicals in our environment. Finally, the National Toxicology Program’s Office of Health Assessment and Translation is an excellent resource for the latest information about potentially hazardous effects of chemicals on human reproduction and development. Did you know that the World Health Organization classifies certain oral contraceptives and hormone replacement therapy (HRT) as carcinogenic?
Tomorrow: Read the Labels