Childhood cancer is the number one cause of death by disease for children in the United States, killing more children than pediatric AIDS, asthma, cystic fibrosis, and muscular dystrophy combined.
In fact, a 34 percent increase in childhood cancers since 1975 has led a group of scientists, health professionals, businesses, and advocates to ignite a call to action to highlight preventable environmental factors that threaten our children.
This coalition seeks to establish a National Childhood Cancer Prevention Research Agenda and National Childhood Cancer Prevention Plan to eradicate non-hereditary Childhood Cancers through a dramatic reduction of toxic chemicals with a strong “all hands-on deck” cross-sector approach to childhood cancer prevention.
The group’s report, “Childhood Cancer: Cross-Sector Strategies for Prevention,” includes contributions from American Sustainable Business Council, Cancer Free Economy Network, Children’s Environmental Health Network, Clean and Healthy New York, Clean Production Action, UMass Lowell Center for Sustainable Production, Max Cure Foundation and Made Safe.
The report calls for a cross-sector approach to reduce use and emissions of toxic chemicals at a time when rates of new cancers in children are climbing.
Based on a comprehensive review of the science, the report finds sufficient evidence to warrant preventative actions for a number of risk factors in the environment to which children are exposed, including air pollutants, pesticides and solvents.
Meanwhile, hazardous air pollutants like benzene, formaldehyde, diesel particulate, and coke oven emissions that are known to cause cancer put Allegheny County residents at high risk relative to other counties in the country for cancer.
“Resistance to tough enforcement of environmental laws has been particularly strong in our region,” said GASP Executive Director Rachel Filippini.