Toxic Chemicals Risk to 2/3 of All Americans

EPA: Toxic Chemicals Are Cancer Risk

WASHINGTON (AP) - Toxic chemicals pose an elevated cancer risk to two-thirds of Americans living in nearly every part of the country, says an assessment by the Environmental Protection Agency (news - web sites).

A long-awaited study of health risks from 32 toxic chemicals, released Friday, concludes that 200 million people live in areas where the cancer risk from exposure to these substances is higher than what the EPA considers a minimum level of concern.

The assessment, based on 1996 data, found that automobile and truck emissions are a major cause of exposure to the chemicals, with power plants and other industrial sources also involved.

The study, described as a "snapshot" of health risks from air toxins, found that the chemicals can be expected over a lifetime of exposure to cause 10 additional cancers for every 1 million people. These risks can be found across virtually the entire country, said the study, which was reviewed by outside scientists.

"More than 200 million people live in census tracts where the combined upper bound lifetime cancer risk from these (chemical) compounds exceeded 10 in 1 million risk," said the report. It added that 20 million people live in areas where the risks are even higher -- 100 additional lifetime cancers for every 1 million people.

The EPA considers a cancer risk of greater than one in a million or greater as a matter of concern, although those levels do not always trigger regulatory actions.

"The risks are very much in line with what we expected all along," said Jeffrey Holmstead, head of the EPA's air office.

[06/03/2002; Environmental Protection Agency ]

Body Burden Studies

Environmental Working Group, 1/03

America's Children & Environment
Toxic fumes & Pregnant Women: Increasing Child's Risk

World Entertainment News Network, 1/05

Even Better Now

LINK to "Alternative health Solutions for Chronic Health Conditions", AZ

Collaborative on Health & the Environment

LINK to searchable database that summarizes links between chemical contaminants and cancer (many diseases too)

FDA Says Canned Light Tuna LESS Mercury

Science News Online, 3/04

Hair mercury levels in relation to fish consumption

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