Children´s cancers are on the increase. Child leukaemia has grown five-fold in the twentieth century. In the USA deaths from brain tumours now exceed those from child leukaemia, which in turn, exceed deaths from road accidents. And all the signs are that the UK is going in the same direction.
Cancer is a modern disease, estimated to double in the next 20 years
When applying for a Section 64 funding grant to help with a project on which we were working we needed figures to support our case. But when we rang Cancer Research UK we received the reply that children´s cancers were only a very small proportion of cancers in Britain and anyway they were mostly curable.
So, that´s all right then!
Even SDRT the brain tumour charity did not have up to date figures. In the end we did find accurate figures and I can tell you them now -
- child leukaemias are most definitely increasing (although some are highly ´curable´),
- child brain tumours are most definitely increasing (and there are no cures and little research).
The truth about child cancers is that their figures are, indeed, masked by an increasing elderly population and by the fact that 80 per cent of cancers occur in the over 65 age group.
But another fact is that the average age of patients at first diagnosis is almost unchanged despite an aging of the population. Conclusion? More younger people are developing cancer too.
At the First International Conference on Child Leukaemia, the facts were presented.
Theories on the cause included increased radiation from mobile phones, phone masts and power lines.
Another view is that our increasingly sterile lives and food actually prevent our children from developing immunity, so that when the time comes they are less able to resist a major pollutant.
The conference also heard about well documented clusters around nuclear facilities and that children who live next to petrol stations apparently have a four-fold leukaemia risk. Is that from the fumes or the increased presence of hidden phone masts?
Professor Alan Preece of the University of Bristol even points to the fact that unborn babies are especially sensitive to pollutants. Research has indicated that car pollution, petrochemicals, heavy metals in petrol, pesticides and other toxins can all cross the placenta.
Children Are More Likely To ´Contain´ Toxins
The WWF has just completed another study on toxins in our environment, this time looking at different levels found in different generations of families.
In the study 80 harmful chemicals were found, of which 56 were found, on average, in the grandparents and 75, on average, in the grandchildren.
No difference was found between city and rural dwellers.
In children typically the following were found:
Polychlorinated biphenyls from coolants, flame-retardants and plastics: known to affect nervous system and linked to liver and brain cancers.
Organochlorides from plant pesticides to mosquito repellents: linked to male genital problems and oestrogen mimic effects
Perfluorinated chemicals from fast food packaging, non-stick utensils, stain resistant carpets and furniture polishes - linked to bladder cancer.
Phthalates from plastics in bottles to children´s toys, and many toiletry bottles - known oestrogen mimics and hormone disrupters.
Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers found in flame-retardants in cars, furniture and TVs, and in clothing treatments: cause severe hormone disruption and blood disorders.
What about the living standards of our grandchildren?
The WWF called on Governments to take urgent action since at the moment there was little or no protective legislation for much for the above. The worldwide production of chemicals has grown from 1 million tonnes in 1930 to 400 million tonnes currently. As always we urge all our readers to look for suppliers of non-toxic products; in toiletries, cosmetics, bathroom, kitchen and household products. Our centrefold, toxins under the sink, is well worth a read as is our book ´Oestrogen the killer in our midst´ contains a piece ´safe as houses´ which covers ways to clean up your home and localised environment.
All in all what we are seeing is an enormous build up of toxins in our children whilst they quite probably have less defences to cope with it than previous generations had. And worryingly a number of these toxins are still present even though the culprits were banned decades ago.
I am reminded of George Bush (senior) who commented at the time of Kyoto that ´the living standards of the American population are not up for negotiation´. But George, what about the living standards of our grandchildren?
Cancer is a modern disease, estimated to double in the next 20 years.
Join our charity CANCERactive and help start the revolution that refuses to accept this uncontrolled pollution of our children´s lives.