Listen to the January 26, 2011 Toxic Chemicals and the Rise of Childhood Cancer: What’s the Relationship? teleconference

Since 1975 cancer in American children has increased, especially childhood leukemia and brain cancer. Meanwhile, 80,000 chemicals have been produced in the U.S. to create commonly-used products, which include known carcinogens such as asbestos, formaldehyde, lead, cadmium, trichloroethylene, and vinyl chloride, with virtually no government oversight. The use of toxic chemicals has risen dramatically in the last 50 years to a point that they are now ubiquitous in human bodies and our environment. Although it is not clear exactly why these childhood cancers are on the rise, a substantial and growing body of evidence suggests that these chemicals may play a role.

Last year the President’s Cancer Panel report provided strong confirmation that exposure to toxic chemicals is an important and under-recognized risk factor for cancer, and recommended that the Government take immediate action to reverse this trend. In fact, the Panel highlighted the need for Congress to reform the failed 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), commenting that this law is “the most egregious example of ineffective regulation of chemical contaminants” and noting that weaknesses in the law have constrained the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from being able to properly regulate known and suspected carcinogens.

WHAT: Press Teleconference on Toxic Chemicals & Childhood Cancers

WHEN: Wednesday, January 26, 1:00 – 2:00 pm EST (10:00-11:00 am PST)


  • Richard Clapp, DSc, MPH, is Professor Emeritus of Environmental Health at Boston University School of Public Health. Dr. Clapp also served as Director of the Massachusetts Cancer Registry from 1980-1989.
  • Sean Palfrey, MD is Professor of Clinical Pediatrics and Public Health at Boston University. He has been the Medical Director of the Boston Lead Poisoning Prevention Program and has worked on issues of environmental health and children’s safety for several decades.
  • Christine Brouwer founded Mira’s Movement in 2008 after her daughter, Mira, died at the age of 4 from complications of treatment for brain cancer. The organization supports families whose children have been diagnosed with cancer and advocates on behalf of children with cancer and their families.
  • Andy Igrejas, National Campaign Director, Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families, will discuss how proposals to overhaul the 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act could help alleviate some of the serious health risks associated with toxic chemical exposure.

More background on toxic chemicals and cancer can be found here: