The Origin of Cancer.... Carcinogens invading DNA


CHEC's parent organization, the Colette Chuda Environmental Fund (CCEF) was created by Jim and Nancy Chuda to fill the gap in scientific research on the effects of environmental toxics on children. After their only child, Colette, died of a rare form of non-genetic cancer, the Chudas discovered that current environmental protection standards in the U.S. are based exclusively on research that evaluates environmental toxic impacts on adult males. CCEF-funded research, and that of other independent organizations, has begun to show for the first time that children, because of their more vulnerable physiology and behavior patterns, are at greater risk than adults from environmental toxics.


Today's children inhabit a fundamentally different planet from the one their parents experienced in their childhood. In the past 40 years, at least 70,000 new chemicals have been released into the environment through new consumer and industrial products and food.

Many of these chemicals have never been tested for their potential to cause disease. But even where tests have been carried out, they do not measure health impacts on children.

Presently, there is no health standard specifically established to evaluate children's risks to toxics. Health risk tolerance standards for contaminates in air, food and water are based on a 155 lb. adult male. Because of this adult standard, it is estimated that the Environmental Protection Agency's lifetime level of cancer risk has already been exceeded for many children by age one.


Childhood cancer has risen 10.8% in the past decade.
(Miller, B.A., et al (eds.), SEER Cancer Statistics Review 1973-1990, National Cancer Institute, NIH pub. no. 93-2789, 1993).

Among children beyond the newborn age group, cancer is second only to trauma as a cause of death.
(Bleyer, W. Archie, "The Impact of Childhood Cancer on the United States and the World," A Cancer Journal For Clinicians 40(6), Nov/Dec 1990).

Among children ages 1-14, cancer causes more deaths in the U.S. than any other disease.
(American Cancer Society, Cancer Facts & Figures 1996).

An estimated 80% to 90% of all cancer in humans is caused by exposure to carcinogens found in the environment.
(Philip Landrigan, M.D. and Herbert Needleman, M.D., Raising Children Toxic Free 1996).

Childhood asthma has nearly doubled in the past 20 years.
(American Lung Association and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention).

Asthma deaths among children and young people increased by 118% between 1980 and 1993, and asthma is now the leading cause of hospital admissions for children.
(EPA News Release, September 11, 1996).

Ten million children under the age of 12 live within four miles of a toxic waste dump.
(EPA News Release, September 11, 1996).

There has been an increase in children's learning disabilities, attention deficit and other behavioral disorders.
(Philip Landrigan, M.D. and Herbert Needleman, M.D., Raising Children Toxic Free 1996).

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