Chemicals, Cancer, & Change

Chemicals, Cancer, and Change

One of the most exciting reports I have ever read, Reducing Environmental Cancer Risk – What We Can Do Now, was released this week by the President’s Cancer Panel, along with significant coverage by Nicholas Kristof in The NY Times, Lyndsey Layton in The Washington Post and Liz Szabo in USA Today.

This signals a pivotal change in how we approach cancer (and, I hope, how we approach other illnesses that have increased in our lifetimes). The report acknowledges that we face “grievous harm” from chemicals that surround us every day and that we have “grossly underestimated” the amount of illness caused by these exposures – illness “that could have been prevented through appropriate national action.”

Why is this so exciting? By recognizing the importance of chemical and environmental causes of disease, we open the door to achievable environmental solutions. We can run in the right direction as we race toward prevention – not just race toward a cure. This report is about cancer – but the same issues apply to asthma, autism, learning disabilities, allergies, and more.

And it starts with kids. The report highlights the game-changing Environmental Working Group studies on umbilical cord blood that I helped EWG develop and release, where we found 180 carcinogens in babies (and 217 chemicals that were toxic to the brain or nervous system), even before the babies were born – chemicals that could set a trajectory for disease much later in life.

Parents can take simple steps right now to lower their children’s risk, from the cleaners you use in your home, to the plastics you use around food and beverages (watch our for BPA and phthalates!), to the sunscreens you put on your family’s skin.

In particular, the report highlights the value of organic food. There are ten foods (eleven, if you count wine) that I see as most important to choose organic.

And we can work together to change our chemical laws, under which the government has only assessed about 200 chemicals for safety out of the 80,000 chemicals on the market.

It’s a new era in our fight against cancer. It’s a new era for health.

Dr. Alan Greene

As a father of four himself, Dr. Greene has devoted himself to freely giving real answers to parents' real questions -- from questions about those all too common childhood conditions to those that address the most recent and rare pediatric illnesses. His answers combine cutting edge science, practical wisdom, warm empathy, and a deep respect for parents, children, and the environment. He is also an electrifying public speaker, and has personally touched many during his talks in North America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.

Dr. Greene is a graduate of Princeton University and the University of California at San Francisco. Upon completion of his pediatric residency program at Children's Hospital Medical Center of Northern California he served as Chief Resident. He entered primary care pediatrics in January 1993.

Dr. Greene is the Past President of The Organic Center and on the Board of Directors of Healthy Child Healthy World. He is a founding partner of the Collaborative on Health and the Environment. He also consults for the Environmental Working Group.

In 1995, he launched DrGreene.com, cited by the AMA as “the pioneer physician Web site” on the Internet. His award-winning site has received over 80 million Unique Users from parents, concerned family members, students, and healthcare professionals. In addition to being the founder of DrGreene.com, he is the Medical Director for HealthTap.

In 2010 Dr. Greene founded the WhiteOut Movement to change how babies in the United States are fed. In 2012 he founded TICC TOCC - Transitioning Immediate Cord Clamping To Optimal Cord Clamping. He is also the founder of KidGlyphs, a free iPhone app that provides a tool for young children to express themselves beyond their verbal skills while teaching them important language skills.

Dr. Greene is the Founding President of the Society for Participatory Medicine and has served as both President and Board Chair of Hi-Ethics (Health Internet Ethics. He is on the Board of Directors for Healthy Child Healthy World, The Lunchbox Project, and The Society for Participatory Medicine. He has also served as an advisor to URAC for both their inaugural and their updated health web site accreditation program. He is a founding member of the e-Patient Scholars Working Group, and a founding board member of the Center for Information Therapy.

Dr. Greene is a regular columnist for Parenting Magazine. He is also the Pediatric Expert for The People’s Pharmacy (as heard on NPR) and Healing Quest (seen on PBS stations). He was the original Pediatric Expert for both Yahoo! and iVillage.

Dr. Greene is the author of Feeding Baby Green (Wiley, 2009), Raising Baby Green (Wiley, 2007), From First Kicks to First Steps (McGraw-Hill, 2004), The Parent's Complete Guide to Ear Infections (People's Medical Society, 1997), and a co-author of The A.D.A.M. Illustrated Family Health Guide (A.D.A.M., Inc., 2004). He is the medical expert for three additional books, The Parent's Soup A-to-Z Guide to Your New Baby, (Contemporary Books, 1998) The Parent's Soup A-to-Z Guide to Your Toddler, (Contemporary Books, 1999), and The Mother of All Baby Books, (Hungry Minds, Inc., 2002).

Dr. Greene is a frequent keynote speaker at important events such as Health 2.0 2011 held in San Diego, CA, IFOAM 2008 (International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements), held in Modena Italy, the first European Internet health conference, held in Maastricht, the first International eHealth Association Conference, held in Jeddah, and the largest e-Healthcare World Conference, held in Las Vegas, and the first Green Power Baby Shower, held in Hollywood. Dr. Greene also appears frequently on TV, radio, websites, and in newspapers and magazines around the world, including such venues as the TODAY Show, Good Morning America, Fox and Friends, The Dr. Oz Show, CNN, ABC, CBS, and NBC network news, NPR, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Time Magazine, Parade, Parenting, Child, Baby Talk, Working Mother, Better Home's & Gardens, and the Reader's Digest.

Dr. Greene loves to think about challenging ideas, he enjoys being where nothing manmade can be seen, and he wears green socks.

Get Dr. Greene's Wellness Recommendations

Sign up now for a delightful weekly email with insights for the whole family. Plus Dr. Greene's FREE Top 5 Wellness Tips For 2017.

Got an idea, tip or a comment?

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *