化學品種類越來越多 兒童罹癌率同步攀升 | 台灣環境資訊協會-環境資訊中心

化學品種類越來越多 兒童罹癌率同步攀升

建立於 2011/02/01
摘譯自2011年1月26日ENS美國華府報導,洪美惠、莫聞編譯,蔡麗伶審校

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jz909/1450513463/為了釐清環境中的污染物與癌症、新生兒先天缺陷等疾病的關聯性,美國兩大黨聯合提出一項議案,此案26日在國會進入審查階段。該法案將授權聯邦機構與州政府、學術機構建立夥伴關係,共同合作,以釐清上述疾病群的問題。

代表1100多萬美國人的民間團體「讓化學品更安全──健康家庭聯盟」,強力主張國會應該採取更多管理動作,尤其是要立即更新1976年所頒布的《美國毒性物質管理法》(TSCA)。該聯盟26日在視訊會議上表示,自1975年起,接觸有毒化學品的情況越來越多,使得美國癌症病童也持續增加。

環境公共衛生專家克拉普博士(Dr. Richard Clapp)表示,「過去20年來,兒童罹癌率很明顯地不斷攀升,增加速率大約是每年1%。」

隸屬世界衛生組織的國際癌症研究署(IARC)今年的研究發現,檢視過900多種以上的化學品後,確認其中有107種會導致癌症。克拉普說,「在1975年,只有大約12種已知物質會導致人類罹患癌症。」 

克拉普指出,兒童血癌和腦癌發病率的增加和接觸含氯溶劑有關。例如,飲用水中含有三氯乙烯和四氯化碳,便是麻州沃本市以及紐澤西州湯姆河市發生兒童癌症的致病因子──含氯溶劑廣泛用於各種商業和工業用途,包括除油劑、清潔劑、油漆稀釋劑、農藥、樹脂和黏膠。

新地毯含有甲苯,苯,苯乙烯,甲醛,丙酮等已知的致癌物質。圖片節錄自:Barbara Mowery相本。 「讓化學品更安全──健康家庭聯盟」表示,美國人的日常用品中,大概用上了8萬種化學物質,其中包括了已知的致癌物質,例如石棉、甲醛、鉛、鎘和氯乙烯,這些幾乎都沒有政府監督。 

「我們看到越來越多兒童罹患癌症等疾病,而這是因為化學物質種類越來越多的關係。」波士頓大學臨床兒科及公共健康教授帕爾弗里(Sean Palfrey)指出,「人體透過飲食、呼吸、或透過皮膚吸收而接觸到這些物質。這些化學物質會損害我們的血球細胞或是腦細胞,並在數年後才出現病徵。」  

整個美國的兒童癌症發生率提高了。圖片節錄自:Mathew Crawford相本。 一名主婦布勞威爾呼籲:「我們應該要有市面上所有化學品的完整資訊!」布勞威爾(Christine Brouwer)的女兒米拉4歲時死於腦癌手術的併發症,之後她在2008年發起了「米拉運動」(Mira's Movement),作為罹癌病童和其家人的支持團體,並為他們發聲。 她指控:「有這麼多可能的化學品接觸來源,包括嬰兒用品、沐浴用品、家用產品等。像用來治療蝨子的靈丹(Lindane),家長把它塗抹在小孩頭上。但他們知道這會導致癌症嗎?」而用來規範違禁化學品的《斯德哥爾摩公約》,到2009年才增加包括靈丹在內的9種化學品至禁用名單。  

布勞威爾認為,新發類型癌症之所以出現,是因為接觸到新的化學物質,「大多數人相信政府會管制化學物質,但政府並沒有。」她敦促國會,盡速修改《美國毒性物質管理法》。

 

Rise in Childhood Cancers Parallels Toxic Chemical Proliferation
WASHINGTON, DC, January 26, 2011 (ENS)

Bipartisan legislation was introduced in Congress today to help communities determine whether there is a connection between clusters of cancer, birth defects and other diseases, and contaminants in the surrounding environment.

The bill would authorize federal agencies to form partnerships with states and academic institutions to investigate and help address disease clusters.

A coalition representing more than 11 million Americans is urging Congress to do more, specifically to update the 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act without delay.

The Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families coalition warned today in a teleconference that cancer in American children has increased since 1975, while exposure to toxic chemicals has also intensified.

Environmental public health expert Dr. Richard Clapp told reporters on the call, "The incidence of childhood cancers has unequivocally been going up for last 20 years, at about a one percent increase per year."

The International Agency for Research on Cancer, a part of the World Health Organization, this year looked at over 900 chemicals and identified 107 that are known to cause cancer, said Dr. Clapp. "In 1975 there were about a dozen things known to cause cancer in humans."

As incidences of childhood leukemia and brain cancer have increased, Dr. Clapp pointed to exposure to chlorinated solvents such as trichlorethelyene and carbon tetrachloride in drinking water as a factor in childhood cancer clusters found in Woburn, Massachusetts and Tom's River, New Jersey.

Chlorinated solvents are used for a wide variety of commercial and industrial purposes, including degreasers, cleaning solutions, paint thinners, pesticides, resins and glues.

These are only some of the 80,000 chemicals have been produced in the United States to create commonly-used products, which include known carcinogens such as asbestos, formaldehyde, lead, cadmium, and vinyl chloride, with virtually no government oversight, warns the Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families coalition.

"We see cancers increasing and other diseases in kids to be increasing, and we know some of this increase is due to the increase in chemicals," said Sean Palfrey, MD, professor of clinical pediatrics and public health at Boston University.

"We can eat them or drink, breathe them, and absorb them through our skin. They harm the blood cells related to leukemia or brain cells and show up years later," said Dr. Palfrey.

"We should have full information on all chemicals on the market," said Christine Brouwer, who founded Mira's Movement in 2008 after her daughter, Mira, died at the age of four from complications of treatment for brain cancer. The organization supports and advocates on behalf of children with cancer and their families.

"There are so many possible multiple sources of exposure," she said, "baby products, bath products, household products. Lindane is used to treat lice, parents put it on their childrens' heads. Do they know it causes cancer?"

In 2009, nine chemicals, including lindane, were added to a list of toxic substances that are to be eliminated under the Stockholm Convention, an international treaty.

New types of tumors are emerging due to exposure to new chemicals, Brouwer said. "Most people believe the government regulates chemicals, but it doesn't," she said, urging Congress to quickly reform the Toxic Substances Control Act.

全文及圖片詳見:ENS報導