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Cancer: simple lifestyle adjustments can reduce your risk

MagazineApril 2003 (Vol. 14 Issue 1)Cancer: simple lifestyle adjustments can reduce your risk

Increasingly, substances in our everyday environment are being linked with higher rates of cancer

Increasingly, substances in our everyday environment are being linked with higher rates of cancer. To protect yourself, avoid:

* Indoor air pollution, which can be more contaminated with volatile gases such as formaldehyde, benzene as well as toxic dusts than outdoor air (Sci Am, 1998; Feb: 86-91). To keep indoor air clean, wipe feet and remove shoes before entering the home, open windows in preference to air fresheners, cut back on perfumed products and use safe, natural cleaning products.

* Pesticides, which are linked to cancer (J Cancer Inst, 1981; 66: 461-4), including of the lung, brain, lymph glands and breast (J Toxiciol Environ Health, 1981; 8: 1027-40; J Occup Med, 1982; 26: 906-8; Lancet, 1981; ii: 579; Lancet, 1998; 352: 1816-20). Eat organically, and investigate safe, natural means of controlling household and garden pests.

* EMFs in the home, which may be particularly risky for children. Several studies have established the link between childhood cancer and exposure to electromagnetic radiation (Am J Epidemiol, 1979; 109: 273-84; Lancet, 1990; 335: 1008-12). Adults are at risk, too. Overhead power lines can concentrate pollutants in the air, raising the risk of adult lung cancer and skin cancers (Am J Epidemiol, 1996; 143: 841; Int J Radiat Biol, 1999; 75: 1505-21, 1523-31). Cut down on electrical gadgets (including mobile phone) use, reposition furniture far away from electromagnetic radiation sources, and use antiradiation screens on computers to help lessen exposure.


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