Category Archives: Cancer

Diesel Fumes and Lung Cancer

Diesel Fumes Cause Lung Cancer

Today’s post comes from guest author Leonard Jernigan from The Jernigan Law Firm.

Lung cancer is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States. It’s greater than breast and colon cancer in women and greater than prostate, colon, pancreatic and liver cancer in men. If diagnosed early there is a 70-80% survival rate for 5 years, and a low-dose CT scan of the chest can detect 60-70% of lung cancers at an early stage. Unfortunately, there has been no significant progress in the treatment of lung cancer in 40 years and between 10,000–20,000 occupational lung cancer deaths occur each year in the United States.

One area of concern is the relationship between diesel exhaust exposure and lung cancer. In June of 2012 the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) classified diesel engine exhaust as carcinogenic to humans, and studies of underground miners support that statement and also indicate that others who are around diesel fumes may be at an increased risk. Toxic chemicals in diesel gas are nitrogen oxides, sulfur oxides, carbon monoxide, benzene, PAHS (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons), aldehydes and nitro-PAHS.

Railroad workers, miners, truck drivers, bus operators, longshoremen and others who have been heavily exposed to diesel fumes are obviously at greater risk than those with less exposures, but even minimal exposures may cause harm. In urban areas, like lower Manhattan, there is concern that diesel exposures may be a public health hazard and detection systems have been placed in areas to collect exposure data. As for workers who have experienced intense, short-term duration to diesel fumes, a chemical called 1-hydroxypyrene may be elevated in urine, but the test for this marker is not performed by most commercial laboratories. The Mount Sinai – Irving J. Selikoff Center for Occupational & Environmental Medicine is studying diesel exposure and may be a good resource for future information, as well as the National Clean Diesel Campaign: www.epa.gov/diesel.

Cancer Concern Over Newest TSA Airport Body Scanners

The newest TSA airport scanners may pose a cancer threat.

According to a growing number of scientists and doctors the newest TSA airport body scanners, known as Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT) scanners, may pose a cancer threat.*

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) insists the scanners are safe, and cites independent studies saying the radiation levels are below acceptable limits. However, according to some doctors, even a small dose of the ionizing radiation that the machines emit could pose a danger.

The TSA has installed about 250 of these body scanners at 40 U.S. airports.

*In Wisconsin, to proceed beyond mere speculation as to causation, a competent physician would have to indicate that the workplace exposure for a substantial period of time to the radiation from airport scanning was at least a material, contributory, causative factor in the onset or progression of a worker’s cancer condition.

Dangerous Beauty Honor Roll: Want to know who else thinks Brazilian Blowout should be illegal?

Over the last few weeks, we’ve been sharing information on the dangers of formaldehyde-laced hair straightening products, including the infamous Brazilian Blowout, among others. The FDA recently issued a warning to the makers of Brazilian Blowout, and increasingly salon professionals are demanding that it be recalled.

Recently the National Healthy Nail and Beauty Alliance demanded that the FDA immediately recall Brazilian Blowout and similar products. According to the FDA, the cosmetics industry’s own safety review board issued an opinion critiquing the safety of straighteners that use formaldehyde. OSHA has issued a national hazard alert. And this year the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) released a report on formaldehyde that confirmed the EPA’s determination that it causes cancer.

The FDA does not have the ability to ban a beauty product. It can only issue a “voluntary recall,” meaning that it cannot mandate the removal of dangerous products from the market.

Many other countries, however, have made hair-straighteners with formaldehyde illegal, including Australia, Canada, Ireland, France and Germany.

So, who thinks we should stop using these formaldehyde-based hair straightening treatments? Well, obviously a whole lot of people.

So why do people keep using it? Continue reading

Dangerous Beauty Part 3: List of Shame: More manufacturers who lie about formaldehyde

Over the last couple of weeks, we’ve been sharing some information about the dangers of the Brazilian Blowout styling product and the formaldehyde that makes it noxious. But Brazilian Blowout isn’t the only styling product with formaldehyde in it. Today let’s take a look at some others.

The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has cited four other manufacturers of hair straightening products for health violations, including failure to tell their employees and customers (stylists and consumers) about the dangerous chemicals in their products. These companies have been lying to their employees and customers:

M&M International Inc., makes Marcia Teixeira hair straightener
_ Fined by OSHA on multiple occasions for, among other things, failing to ensure that their safety data accurately reflects the formaldehyde content in their product.

Copomon Enterprises, makes Keratin Complex Smoothing Therapy
_ Fined by OSHA for, among other things, failing to ensure that their safety data accurately reflects the the formaldehyde content in their product. Continue reading