Leading the way in understanding the links between cancer and pollution. 

A Southwest Pennsylvania network of physicians, researchers, activists and cancer survivors released a declaration on July 15 about how pollution contributes to the high rates of cancer in that region.

“In Southwestern Pennsylvania, there is a need for bold action on a cancer prevention strategy that is often overlooked: reducing environmental chemicals that are put into our air, water, food, homes, workplaces and products,” the declaration states.

A science companion to the Declaration explains that overall cancer rates are declining nationally, particularly those like lung cancer which are caused by smoking and other personal behaviors.

Meanwhile, rates for breast cancer, multiple myeloma, non-Hodgkin lymphoma, thyroid and testicular cancer are among those that have increased since 1975. According to the document, personal behaviors “cannot fully explain the rising trends in these cancer types.”

The science companion provides data that show rates for six types of cancer that have strong links to toxic chemicals are elevated in several Southwestern Pennsylvania counties compared with national rates.  Those cancers are:


Cancer Clusters: A National Challenge

cancer cluster is defined as a greater-than-expected number of cancer cases that occurs within a group of people in a geographic area over a period of time.  There are dozens of cluster in America.  Long disregarded, cancer clusters and their harm are routinely minimized by federal, state, and local health authorities.

The Pittsburgh Declaration is a challenge to us all to act locally and, when necessary, independently to protect our own health as well as the health well-being of our children and grandchildren.

Is your community harboring a cancer cluster?  Check here https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/

Pediatric Cancer Environmental Impact Fund
July 20, 2021


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