In an excellent (242 page!) advisory report to President Obama (release in May 2010, by the U.S. Presidents Cancer Council, “Reducing Environmental Cancer Risk: What We Can Do Now”) the authors have made a ‘call to action’ for more research on the more than 80,000 chemicals that we are exposed to in our daily lives. They state that many of these chemicals are not regulated and we know very little about their potential carcinogenic effects.
This excellent report discuses important issues including our daily exposure to known carcinogenic chemicals and gases in our environment and the lack of public education in how to reduce our exposures to them (i.e. radon gas, formaldehyde, benzenes, etc.). They also discuss the risks of diagnostic radiation exposure, chemicals used by the miltary and other important topics.
The American Cancer Society feels that this report overstates the potential cancer-causing risks of environmental toxins. Their position is that only 6% of all cancers are likely caused by environmental exposures.
The bottom line is that we don’t know the exact percentage of risk that environmental exposures place on us in causing cancers. Nevertheless, awareness of the chemicals in your environmental and reducing your exposure to them is the best policy.