Press Release Source: CURE Childhood Cancer
CURE Childhood Cancer Cautions Parents on Increased Cancer Risk for Children From Gene-Damaging Chemicals
Monday October 3, 10:39 am ET
Recent EPA Announcement Says Children May Be More Vulnerable
ATLANTA, Oct. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- CURE Childhood Cancer wants to alert parents about the substantially greater risk of cancer to children versus adults from a variety of pollutants, based on a recent EPA environmental guidelines update.
Cancer kills more children than any other disease. Babies and toddlers have a 10 times greater cancer risk than adults when exposed to certain gene- damaging chemicals, according to the EPA. Children ages 2 to 16 might be three times more vulnerable to these chemicals. EPA has updated the way it decides which pollutants pose cancer risks, which is intended to lead to better and more accurate reviews of carcinogens that might be regulated.
"But we don't need to wait for that regulation -- parents should be aware of these types of chemicals now and protect their homes accordingly," says CURE Childhood Cancer board member Jane H. Bick, PhD. For example, Dr. Bick points out that parents should be aware of certain household cleaning products and air fresheners, as well as arsenic-laden wooden decks and wood playsets that aren't sealed regularly.
While scientists have long known that very young children are more vulnerable than adults to gene-harming chemicals, this is the first time the EPA has formally proposed calculating the differences in assessing the danger to young children from some pesticides and chemicals. The so-called "mutagenic chemicals" that cause irrecoverable damage to genes, alter the DNA and make the individual more susceptible to cancer later in life as well as during early childhood.
Dr. Bick cites two important steps parents can take:
1. Seal the wood at least once a year on outside decks, playsets and
other outdoor wooden structures. Fence off the area under the deck to
keep children and pets away from arsenic infested soil. Nearly all
outdoor wooden structures are infused with a pesticide called CCA that
is 22 percent arsenic. Arsenic causes lung, bladder and skin cancer.
It also may cause leukemia, kidney, nasal passage and prostate cancer,
as well as high blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease. Childhood
cancer risks may be substantially higher if your child is exposed more
than three hours per week, eats the dirt, mouths the wood or gets
splinters from it, or eats without washing his or her hands after
playing on the wood.
2. Use fragrance-free fabric softeners and dryer static sheets when doing
laundry, and avoid plug-in or other room fresheners. Chemicals that
make dryer sheets smell good are known poisons. For example, benzyl
acetate, limonene and chloroform - common ingredients in fabric
softeners and dryer sheets - are linked to cancer.
"While many childhood cancers can't be prevented, research suggests that some risks can be minimized by avoiding carcinogenic chemicals," Dr. Bick said. "Childhood cancer doesn't discriminate - it strikes rich, poor, whites, African-Americans, Latinos," she added, "so all parents need to take these precautions."
About CURE Childhood Cancer
Georgia's oldest and most comprehensive children's cancer charity, CURE Childhood Cancer is a non-profit organization dedicated to conquering childhood cancer through research, education, and support of pediatric childhood cancer patients and their families. Since 1975, CURE has funded millions of dollars for cancer research, ongoing education on pediatric cancer issues, and countless hours of support for patients and families.
Source: CURE Childhood Cancer
Deborah Elaine Barrie
4 Catherine Street
Smiths Falls, On
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