1 in 2 Canadians will be diagnosed with cancer

One in two!!!

Watching Wendy Mesley's CBC Marketplace news report last night, I was absolutely shocked to hear that statistic. Why isn't this front page news?!

Her report was enlightening, but much too short (why did the CBC only give her a half hour? It deserved at least an hour; I had so many more questions). I hope they'll show it on TV again, but you can read a lot of the information, and watch the program online by clicking the link above.

  • Note: It seems that Mesley's report has generated criticism among bloggers (click here and here) for being biased, but at least it's getting people to question the factors that may be leading to rising cancer rates. Regardless of opinions on journalistic slant, she raises important issues that must be examined.

The story focuses on the subject of environmental toxins, and how people are unknowingly poisoning their bodies by using everyday products. Most laundry detergents, household cleaners and even makeup contain carcinogens or other toxins that have been linked to cancer. Dairy products, fruits and vegetables can be contaminated by pesticides, and Canadian meat often contains growth hormones which are carcinogenic and have been banned by the European Union.

Currently in Canada, household and personal care products are not required to list all of the ingredients on their labels, so people can't make an informed decision about product safety while shopping. Manufacturers often print a partial list, or merely list the 'active' ingredients. Thankfully, by November 2006, full ingredient lists will be required.

While it is not realistic that we can eliminate all of the environmental toxins in our homes, we can let manufacturers know our concerns, and reduce our use of toxic products. I don't have many toxin-reduced or toxin-free products in my home right now; I never realized how harmful they could be. But when I heard that 1 in 2 Canadians will be diagnosed with cancer, wow, was that a wake-up call! I want to reduce those statistics for my future children, and if searching for lesser known brands and paying a bit more money for them to reduce the toxins in my home is the answer, then I'm willing to do that.

The Marketplace website has links to a lot of informative resources, including the Guide to Less Toxic Products, maintained by the Environmental Health Association of Nova Scotia, which describes the toxins commonly found in household products, and recommends safer products. Also, the Labour Environmental Alliance Society publishes the CancerSmart Consumer Guide, which contains information on carcinogens, toxins and chemicals that are found in brand name products, and suggests alternatives and product substitutes.

Many people in my life have been touched by cancer, and now that I've heard this information, I can't ignore it. If shopping carefully will reduce, even a little bit, the chances of my loved ones getting cancer, then I'm willing to try.

On a related note, visit the Breast Cancer Site and click on the big pink button every day to help fund free mammograms for underprivileged women. 100% of the revenue collected from the site's sponsors goes to pay for mammograms. Since 2000, the site has funded 14,450 free mammograms.

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  1. Hello The Green Queen here. I read your blog, awesome. I agree why isn't it front page news. It is a dirty business toxins are in really everything we use even our make-up, shampoo, personal products. Watch for my blog on that, ouch. Thanks for the heads up. The good news is that more and more people are becoming aware and that is forcing companies to go green. Yeah!!!!!!!!!

    Also I want to let you know that I will look around for products that you asked me about in Canada.

    Thanks for keeping in touch and letting me know what you need, glad to help.