The American Academy of Pediatrics is alarmed by the high rate of increases in childhood cancer across the country in the past 40 years. The incidence of childhood cancer has increased over 50% from 13 per 100,000 in 1975 to an estimated 21 per 100,000 in 2014 (ages 0-19). These increases are most evident in leukemia, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, soft tissue cancers, kidney cancer, and brain and nervous system tumors. Cancer now accounts for 58% of childhood deaths (ages 1-19), more than all other causes combined.
Researchers suggest that exposure to environmental toxins have driven this dramatic increase—because young children receive greater doses of the chemicals than adults. In proportion to body weight, children ingest 2.5 times more water, up to 4 times more food, and 2 times more air. And let’s be real, young children like to put things in their mouths and live more hours of the day either on the floor or closer to the ground where many of these chemicals settle.
We can be a part of improving child health by cleaning up our environments What’s at least one thing in the coming week that each of us can do to reduce childhood exposures to chemicals?
- Reading labels on foods we buy
- Choosing Bispheol A (BPA) free products
- Choosing organic
- Reducing/eliminating pesticides used inside and outside our homes
- Choosing chemical-free products
Sources/Links for More:
American Academy of Pediatrics Policy Statement on Pesticides at http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/130/6/e1757 accessed November 2, 2015.
The book and film “Living Downstream” by Sarah Steigraber, PhD, see http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/130/6/e1757 accessed November 2, 2015.
Environmental Working Group analysis of issues related to Toxic Substances Control Act at http://www.ewg.org/key-issues/toxics/chemical-policy accessed November 2, 2015.
Hawaii Center for Food Safety report on Pesticides and Children’s Health at http://www.centerforfoodsafety.org/fact-sheets/3900/pesticides-and-childrens-health accessed November 2, 2015.