"What I objected to is that in trying to draw emphasis to this particular aspect [pollution] that relates to cancer prevention, it was implied that the others are minor," he said.
In the report released Thursday, the President's Cancer Panel said the United States isn't doing enough to reduce the incidence of environmentally induced cancers. The report said that risk has been "grossly underestimated."
The report authors pointed to the apparent health effects of 80,000 or so chemicals, including bisphenol A (BPA), that are used daily by millions of Americans. Studies have linked the plastics chemical with different types of cancer, at least in animal and laboratory tests.
"The real burden of environmentally induced cancer greatly underestimates exposure to carcinogens [and] is not addressed adequately by the National Cancer Program," said Dr. LaSalle D. Leffall Jr., chair of the panel that released the report and Charles R. Drew professor of surgery at Howard University College of Medicine in Washington, D.C. "We need to eliminate these carcinogens from workplaces, homes and schools, and we need to start doing that now. There's ample opportunity for intervention and change, and prevention to protect the health of all Americans."
Despite advances, cancer is still a major public health problem in the United States and about 41 percent of Americans will be diagnosed with the disease at some point in their lives, the report stated. Twenty-one percent will die of the disease.
The President's Cancer Panel is an advisory group appointed to monitor the development and execution of the National Cancer Program. The group's report addresses a different topic every year.
This year's document stated that while chemicals such as radon, formaldehyde and benzene are ubiquitous in the United States and exposure is co
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