Environmental Toxins, Autism and Cancer

Did you see Nicholas Kristof’s op-ed in yesterday’s New York Times on the link between autism (and other diseases like cancers) and environmental toxins?  Kristof points to concern about American’s using plastic containers to microwave food, and using products with toxic phthalates like fragrances, cosmetics and shampoos.  All this makes sense.  But how about the men, women and children half a world away who are regularly exposed to levels of toxins far beyond what’s permissible in the U.S.?

The problem is the same.  Its just the scale that’s wildly different.  Pregnant women and children in the developing world in many places are exposed to levels of lead, mercury, cadmium, solvents and other pollutants that cause death and disease that are hundreds, and sometimes thousands of times above safe levels.  They need help removing the toxins that contaminate their communities.

Karti (Karti Sandilya – the former Director General of the Asian Development Bank) and I have just come back from Europe (Sweden, Switzerland and the UK) where we met with governments, WHO, and the United Nations Environment Programme. We have strong partners for our planned Health and Pollution Fund, getting closer to finding global solutions to these problems.

By the way, Kristof’s article refers to the work of Dr. Philip J. Landrigan, a great Blacksmith friend and one of the leading voices in children’s health. When we profiled Dr. Landrigan in our January newsletter, we asked him what he thought was the most important thing people could do to save the planet.  His answer was “protect children from toxic environments.”  What a great guy.

(If you want to read more about the damaging effects of contaminants,  see my earlier post on Pollution and Vaccines, and Pollution, Poverty and the IQ Connection.)

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4 Responses to Environmental Toxins, Autism and Cancer

  1. chenyu says:

    Cancer Treatment: Helpful or Harmful? —-the human immunity is important in against disease

    Cancer is a malignant tumour,not a benign tumour.it is an incurable disease; the patient moves towards the death finally like the rotten tree. Medical treatment in cancer is only a blind experiment. It can’t prolong the patient’s life. It is harmful to the human body and accelerates the patient’s death instead.

    Cancer is formed when the mutant cell reproduces greatly. The latest views suggest that cancer cells produce all the time in human life. Usually it hasn’t enough time to reproduce before it be killed by the human body’s immune system. However, if the human immune system is weak the cancer cells reproduce rapidly and the cancer tumor forms. For example a country, if its military strength is very weak a rebel insurgency can develop rapidly and overthrow its government.

    At present treatment to cancer included: The operation(cuting the body parts), medicine chemotherapy, Radiotherapy(radioactive rays), and the traditional Chinese medicine with superstition color. Operation chemotherapy and radiotherapy is a harmful treatment.while it works to kill cancer cells,it also unfortunately kill many healthy cells. They can’t remove the cancer tumor, but destroy the human body greatly. This harmful treatment reduces the immune function of the human further, creating more opportunity for the cancer tumor’s reproduction . And the traditional Chinese medicine comfort patient by psychology. It is harmful to the human body to take the traditional Chinese medicine in a large amount.

    It is important to strengthen our body’s immune system. Polluted food, water and air are harmful to our immunity and all fountion in our body.protecting environment is to protect our health. A fine natual environment free of pollution is the best precaution against cancer,and the best treatment to prolong the cancer patient’s life.

    The above is my personal view, of course, individual genetic factors in the incidence of cancer is also a significant component. Some low-grade tumors or between malignant and benign tumors , as the majority of breast cancer patients still have a long life

    ——— Can HIV be cured by human? cancer is similar to HIV ———-
    my hot post:http://bbs.chinadaily.com.cn/viewthread.php?tid=509645

  2. Daniel says:

    It would be interesting to see what the cancer rates are in the United State compared to other developing countries. Also where is the proof or study that shows people in other developing countries are exposed to far more toxins then people in the United States?

  3. Jeremy says:

    This is all some pretty scary stuff. For some strange reason, I think if more people in a position of power could have the chance to go to the International Space Station, for example, and look down on the Earth, they would get a much better perspective of the finite nature of our little place in the universe. The toxins and pollutants ain’t going anywhere but here. And I think we at, or maybe even past the point where the Earth can cleanse itself. Sort of like a failing liver in humans.

  4. With cancer being the 2 leading cause of death, I want to see it cured. I don’t know if this is completely possible, but we do have a starting place. We can learn and teach the signs and symptoms of cancer in order to achieve earlier diagnoses. Some cancers are curable if found early. This is why I want to teach the signs of cancer! Thank you for this site and please continue to teach!

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