Reducing environmental risk of cancer

Protecting against environmental cancer hazards

A 1973 study conducted at Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School in Jerusalem found that when cancerous breast tissue is compared with non-cancerous tissue from elsewhere in the same woman's body, the concentration of toxic chemicals such as DDT and PCBs was "much increased in the malignant tissue compared to the normal breast and adjacent adipose fatty tissue." Following public outcry, Israel banned these chemicals from use on feed for dairy cows and cattle. Over the next ten years, the rate of breast cancer deaths in Israel declined sharply, with a 30% drop in mortality for women under 44 years of age and an 8% overall decline. At the same time, all other known cancer risks, alcohol consumption, fat intake, lack of fruits and vegetables in the diet, increased significantly. During this period, worldwide death rates from cancer increased by 4%. Similarly, in 1993 faculty members at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York conducted a blind study of almost 15,000 women to determine whether exposure to organochlorine pesticides was associated with breast cancer. Their report, published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, found a fourfold relative increase in breast cancer risk for women with high levels of pesticide residues in their bodies.


The cancer establishment pays lip service to prevention, but only in terms of blaming the victims: People smoke or drink too much, they are not exercising or eating enough fruits and vegetables. These factors are very important. But one thing you never hear about in terms of prevention is how the poisoning of our air, water, soil, food and bodies with toxic drugs, heavy metals, industrial chemicals, pesticides, nuclear and other forms of radiation is a major cause of cancer. The poisoning of our environment is probably the major cause of most cancers, and living in our toxic world makes it especially necessary to do our best to optimize our health individually. The proof of this has been around a long time, documented in many studies.

The American Cancer Society report Cancer Facts & Figures 2001 makes the following statement under the heading "Environmental Cancer Risks" – "Unproven Risks": "Continued research regarding pesticide use is essential for maximum food safety, but pesticides play a valuable role in sustaining the food supply. When controlled properly, the minimal risks they pose are overshadowed by the health benefits of a diverse diet rich in foods from plant sources." This points to an even more insidious relationship between cancer drugs and pesticides: most of the companies producing chemotherapeutic drugs also manufacture pesticides. For examples, AstraZeneca, the inventor of Tamoxifen, which is is the world's largest producer of organochlorine pesticides, which have been proven to cause breast cancer.

Risking cancer
Type Classification:
G: Very Specific strategies
Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 3: Good Health and Well-beingGOAL 15: Life on Land