Families Against Cancer & Toxics
Stop cancer before it starts
The incidence of childhood leukemia in industrialized nations has been rising approximately 1% per year for more than 30 years.
October 26, 2003
Public awareness of clusters also rose, with high profile cases such as the Love Canal, and movies like A Civil Action and Erin Brockevich. In the late 1990's The New York Times ran an article about the alarming rise in childhood cancers.
As the public awareness of the problem rose, so did the outcry, and public health leaders found themselves overwhelmed with panicked calls demanding, "What's killing the children?"
FACT believes our kids with cancer are like the canary in the coal mine, a warning to all society that things are dangerously amiss with public health.
We need to act now to reduce carcinogens in the environment. We have sad histories of ignoring early warnings in areas such as lead, tobacco, asbestos, vinyl chloride and mad cow disease. Our children cannot afford to let decades pass before taking action. We must make our homes, schools, and communities safer for our children to live and play and breath in.
And we need better health tracking. Currently the tools of epidemiology are too blunt to pinpoint cause, so it is difficult to begin prevention. We need a national cancer registry, we need biomonitoring to measure the toxins in our bodies, and we need tumor banking so researchers will have something to work with as new technologies emerge. Better health tracking will give our public health leaders the tools they need to keep us all safer.
EPA - America's Children and the Environment (ACE) - Measure D5 This page includes a data table showing incidence over the years.
Cancer incidence and mortality for children under 20
Cancer Rates Going Up, Not Down
Cancer incidence for children under 20 by type
1997 EPA Call for Strategy to Prevent Childhood Cancer