Environmental Exposures

You probably know that asbestos can cause cancer, but you may not realize that many products and chemicals in our homes and communities also increase our chances of developing cancer. Second-hand smoke, air pollution, and pesticides are a few examples – but so are toys, artificial turf, rubber playground materials, and flame retardants in mattresses. These articles help explain how you can explain these risks.

Our Comments on Insanitary Conditions in the Preparation, Packing, and Holding of Tattoo Inks and the Risk of Microbial Contamination FDA Draft Guidance September 11, 2023: Tattoos are common in the U.S. and almost half tattoo inks are contaminated. We support FDA’s draft guidance to improve the safety of tattoo ink and recommends that labels describing the links be available to consumers and sterile dilution techniques should be required and explained. We urge FDA to develop an information toolkit to increase
Everything You Need To Know to Choose Safe Cosmetic Products Cosmetics, including shampoo and other products we all use, will cost U.S. consumers $92 billion this year. They contain various chemicals, often including harmful substances like parabens and phthalates. These products can also harm the environment and pose greater risks to salon workers. His article helps consumers read labels, reduce exposures to unsafe ingredients, and choose eco-friendly cosmetics for safety.
EPA Public Meeting on Proposed Rule to Reduce PFAS in Water May 4, 2023: We provided a public comment at an EPA public meeting to support their proposed rule to reduce PFAS in water and suggested ways to strengthen the rule to save more lives by reducing limits on these carcinogenic chemicals.
NCHR Letter to Members of the Board of the Los Gatos Union School District on Artificial Turf and Playgrounds April 18, 2022: NCHR Letter to Superintendient Paul Johnson and Members of the Board of the Los Gatos Union School District regarding the health risks posed by artificual turf and playground surfaces.
NCHR Letter to Mayor Cohn and Members of the Rye City Council Concerning the Health Risks of Artificial Turf and Playgrounds November 18, 2019. There is a growing body of evidence of the risks of the chemicals and lead in artificial turf and rubber surface playgrounds.  It would not be ethical to intentionally expose children to these play areas, and no independent researchers or government researchers have conducted long-term studies to determine if children with greater exposures are more likely to develop the health problems that are expected, such as obesity, asthma, cognitive damage, early puberty, and eventually cancer.
NCHR Letter to Mayor Cohn and Members of the Rye City Council Concerning Artificial Turf and Playgrounds We have been contacted by families in Rye who are concerned about the risks of artificial turf and playgrounds. We agree with them that converting grass fields to artificial turf poses unnecessary dangers to children in your community.
Buy a Sleep Mask! It’s an Investment in Your Health Research shows that sleeping in total darkness allows your body to produce as much of the hormone melatonin as possible. This is good because when your production of melatonin drops, you are at greater risk of breast and/or colorectal cancer and other health risks.
What are Artificial Turf and Playgrounds Made Of? Can They Cause Cancer? Obesity? Asthma? There is growing evidence that all artificial fields and playgrounds are made with materials that can be dangerous for children and adults. Our Center has testified before the Washington, D.C. City Council, and we are working with parents across the country who seek our help in convincing their communities to choose grass and avoid artificial turf whenever possible.
Children and Athletes at Play on Toxic Turf and Playgrounds The use of human-made surfaces on playgrounds has increased dramatically over the years, but some materials used to replace grass are potentially dangerous.
Third-hand smoke Third-hand smoke is the residue from cigarette smoke that stays on just about every surface exposed to that smoke. The smoke residue clings to hair and fabrics, including clothing, carpets, drapes, and furniture upholstery. Third hand smoke can cause serious health problems.
The last 50 years of smoking: cigarettes and what we know about them has changed Smoking comes with serious health risks, such as lung cancer and COPD, the 50th anniversary report warns about less widely known risks.
Phthalates and Children’s Products Phthalates are a material found in many products in your home. Read about this chemical and its connection to various cancers and other health problems.
Are E-Cigarettes Safer Than Regular Cigarettes? Don’t be fooled. E-cigarettes are addictive and contain cancer-causing chemicals.
Phthalates Q&A Answers to common questions about phthalates and the possible risks.
Home sweet home? Flame retardants in your home can harm you Toxic flame retardants commonly found in upholstered furniture, drapery, carpets, plastic-cased electronics, and foam baby products have been known to cause cancer and affect children’s growth and brain development.
Children and Cell Phones: Is Phone Radiation Risky for Kids? Children use cell phones to watch TV, play games, make phone calls, and send text messages. But are there risks to such frequent use by children, and if so is that different than the risks for adults?
Agent Orange and Serious Diseases including Multiple Myeloma Nicholas J. Jury, PhD and Diana Zuckerman, PhD 2015 It has taken many years to determine how Agent Orange exposure during the Vietnam War has harmed the health of those who were exposed. One of the reasons is that it can take decades for cancer to develop after a dangerous exposure.  Agent Orange was used … Continue reading Agent Orange and Serious Diseases including Multiple Myeloma
Tanning beds: safe alternative to sun? Skin cancer concerns related to artificial tanning
Are Pesticides, Roundup, and Cancer in Children Connected? Pesticides have long been known to cause birth defects and poisoning if ingested. Now research is showing that even small quantities of rodent and insect killing pesticides can be toxic over time to children
Can cell phones harm our health? The extensive use of cell phones is a relatively recent phenomenon, and since cancers usually take at least 10-20 years to develop, it will be years before research is likely to conclude whether cell phones cause cancer or not. However, the evidence indicates possible cause for concern
Are Bisphenol A (BPA) plastic products safe for infants and children? Bisphenol A (BPA) in products your children use and the possible risks associated.
Everything you ever wanted to know about radiation and cancer, but were afraid to ask Do you know how much radiation you are exposed to? Learn more about the risk of developing cancer from various sources of radiation.
Fracking and your health Of the more than 750 chemicals used in fracking, more than 100 can affect our hormones. These chemicals are called endocrine-disrupting chemicals, and research published in 2011 shows that these chemicals can get into the water near fracking sites, where they could potentially cause infertility, diabetes, and cancer.
Letter to Representative Markey in Support of Legislation that would give FDA Authority to Oversee Compounding Pharmacies, October 31, 2012 This letter expresses support for Massachusetts Representative Ed Markey’s proposed legislation that would give the FDA more authority over compounding pharmacies.
Airport Security and Radiation Following the September 11th attacks in 2001, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) was created and given responsibility for protecting the public from security threats in transportation systems, such as airports.
Haz-Map: Is Your workplace putting your health at risk? How you can find out Have you ever wondered if where you work could be harming your health? Haz-Map, an online database that links jobs with illnesses and injuries, lets you see what hazards you may be exposed to.
Are Bisphenol A (BPA) Plastic Products Safe? Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical used to make plastics. It is frequently used in sports equipment, water bottles, medical devices, as a coating or lining in food and beverage cans, and in credit card receipts. It leaches out of plastic into liquids and foods, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found measurable amounts of BPA in the bodies of 93% of the U.S. population studied. While early concerns about BPA’s health effects were based primarily on animal studies and research on cells, there is increasing evidence from studies in humans that BPA can cause serious harm, such as increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and sexual dysfunction.
ABC News Covers Link Between Rare Cancer and Breast Implants ABC News, January, 2011. Dr. Diana Zuckerman advises women with breast implants not to get too worried about the connection between breast implants and a rare form of lymphoma.
Do Chemicals in our Environment Cause Weight Gain? Today’s obesity epidemic is also an epidemic of the health problems resulting from excess weight, such as diabetes, heart disease, some types of cancer, and early onset of puberty.
Do Hair Dyes Cause Cancer? The bottom line for now, pending additional research, is that people who have been using permanent hair dyes since the 1980s appear to be at little to no increased risk of lymphoma or other cancers.
Harmful Chemical Found in Fruit Juices Certain fruit juices contain too much antimony (a chemical that may cause cancer or damage the reproductive system).