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A Presidential Legacy: Preventing Cancer Last May, the Presidential Cancer Panel presented President Obama with its annual report which confirmed that toxic chemicals are a grossly underestimated risk factor for cancer. The Panel urged President Obama to “most strongly use the power of your office” to eliminate human exposure to cancer-causing chemicals.

So far, nothing has changed. Of over 80,000 chemicals on the market today, only a few hundred of them have been tested for safety. Exposure to actual and potential cancer-causing chemicals is widespread. Toxic chemicals that cause cancer are in products like clothing, furniture, cleaning products, and plastics used by children, women, and men on a daily basis. The chemical industry continues to exploit regulatory weakness by introducing chemicals into the environment that have not been proven to be safe. Pregnant women have been found to carry toxic chemicals in their bodies, which leads to babies being born with a burden of chemicals over which they had no control. The majority of Americans are unaware of the dangers of chemical exposure in their daily lives.

Cancer takes a devastating toll on individuals and families. Consider these facts:

  • 1 in 2 American men and 1 in 3 American women will get some type of cancer in our lifetimes;
  • Cancer is the leading cause of death from disease in children younger than 15;
  • Breast cancer is the second leading cause of death in women, exceeded only by lung cancer.

Wouldn’t it be nice if President Obama said he’s had enough? Wouldn’t it be great if President Obama insisted that cancer prevention become a priority for his administration? On this President’s Day 2011, wouldn’t it be reassuring to know that our country’s leader, President Obama, had decided to make cancer prevention his legacy?

Please help us encourage President Obama to get serious about a national cancer prevention program that would eliminate the use of cancer-causing chemicals, such as formaldehyde, vinyl chloride, and lead.

We’re also asking the President to support an overhaul of the ineffective Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), which must be replaced with a new law that 1) takes immediate action on the worst chemicals, including cancer-causing chemicals 2) requires the chemical industry to prove that their chemicals are safe and 3) uses the best science available to protect all people, especially vulnerable groups.

Every minute, at least one American will die from cancer this year. Why does it remain legal to add chemicals known to cause cancer to products we use every day in our homes, schools, and workplaces?

In honor of President’s Day, please sign our petition to President Obama, asking him to protect us from cancer-causing chemicals, then ask your family and friends to to sign, too. Thank you.