Last week the President’s Cancer Panel with the support of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the National Institutes of Health and the National Cancer Institute released its report on Reducing Environmental Cancer Risk. The findings and comments found in this year’s report should come as little surprise to those concerned about environmental risks of cancer. In a nutshell there are many potential sources that one should be informed about and aware of. The current way we test chemicals for possible carcinogenic effect is inadequate.
Most telling in the report are the recommendations for individuals. The number one recommendation is “It is vitally important to recognize that children are far more susceptible to damage from environmental carcinogens and endocrine-disrupting compounds than adults.”
So what are common endocrine disrupters and environmental carcinogens found in lawn care products? Lawn care products containing pesticides such as 2,4-D, Acephate, Atrazine, Befenthrin, MCPA, MCPP, and Pendimethalin are chemicals listed as probable or known carcinogens and/or endocrine disruptors.
These chemicals can be found in quite a number of lawn care products. For example, The Scotts Company, LLC lists these products in a number of their Scotts® TurfBuilder® Fertilizer, Scotts® STEP™, Scotts LawnPro®, Scotts® Halts®, Ortho® Weed-B-Gon and Ortho® Bug-B-Gon products.
Too bad this information doesn’t seem to make its way into the mainstream. The function of the President’s Cancer Panel is to monitor the development and execution of the activities of the National Cancer Program, and shall report directly to the President. The Panel consists of three members appointed by the President, who by virtue of their training, experience, and background are exceptionally qualified to appraise the National Cancer Program. At least two members of the Panel shall be distinguished scientists or physicians.