Nurses Ask Congress to Protect Government Report on Cancer Causing Chemicals
WASHINGTON, Sept. 5, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments (ANHE) sent a letter to Congress today in support of the Report on Carcinogens (ROC), an annual scientific study published by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) that identifies chemicals that cause cancer.
“We addressed key House members, including Representative Denny Rehberg (R-MT) who has authored a rider on the Labor, Health and Human Services (LHHS) funding bill and is leading the effort to withhold funding for this critical report,” explains Katie Huffling, RN, MS, CNM with ANHE.
The letter states: We represent many thousands of nurses who are concerned about associations between toxic chemicals and numerous diseases, including cancer. A cornerstone of nursing practice is prevention and the ROC provides us with a valuable resource in reducing our patients’ exposures to carcinogens.
The ROC, an official federal government list of chemicals “known” or “reasonably anticipated” to cause cancer that has been mandated by Congress since the 1970′s, is produced by top scientists at the National Toxicology Program (NTP), which is housed at the NIEHS. It provides science-based, impartial information about chemicals that can increase cancer incidence.
Adelita G. Cantu, PhD, RN, National Association of Hispanic Nurses, comments, “The RoC is especially important to communities of color, who are disproportionately impacted by toxic chemicals, including carcinogens. Communities must have every tool they need to identify chemicals released in their environments that can cause cancer. I see children playing in toxic water near the US-Mexico border. The people deserve to know if that water contains carcinogens so they can try and halt contamination, and exposure.”
Some chemicals listed in the RoC are in products used in clinical settings, schools, homes, and child care centers. Formaldehyde, deemed a carcinogen in the latest Report, is found in many products used in homes, businesses, and schools. It’s linked to an increased risk of leukemia, and exposure to formaldehyde poses a threat to the health of U.S. children. When such threats are identified, through scientific reports such as the ROC, we can reduce children’s exposure and protect their health.
SOURCE Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments