Ethics require officials to post pollutant info
To the Editor:
During the course of the past 100 years a cancer epidemic has gradually come into existence in the industrialized world. This has happened as a result of the heavy use of chemicals that have a damaging effect upon genetic material and chemicals that increase the rate at which cancer cell lines develop in the body. Government and non-government scientists are aware of the scientific knowledge that serves as a basis for that.Cancer Action NY has worked for over a decade with top internationally recognized scientists, including David O. Carpenter, MD and Arnold J. Schecter, MD, to educate global, national, state and local government decision makers on the subjects of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) exposure disease risk and strategies to minimize exposure. The time has come for government decision makers to act upon the information that has been provided. Publication of POPs cancer hazard advisories is a critical first step in minimizing the number of people who will develop cancer as a result of the poisoning of the global environment with POPs. Warning the public of the avoidable POPs cancer hazard will reduce POPs exposure thereby reducing population wide risk leading to fewer cancer cases.
The World Health Organization, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Cancer Institute, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences as well as the New York State Department of Health and the other state health departments must publish POPs cancer hazard advisories and post them in supermarkets. The county public health departments must also publish and post such advisories.
If the government decision makers choose not to act upon the scientific knowledge that is available for use minimizing the disease outcome of global POPs contamination, they must step down from their positions of power. Failure to act demonstrates lack of the ethics required of an elected representative of the people.
Donald L. Hassig, Director
Cancer Action NY