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An Ounce, Summer 2012

In this issue:

Cancer Fact

Did you know that "new car smell" typically means the presence of toxic chemicals that are dangerous to our health and potentially cancer-causing. Jake Cole talks more about these dangerous fumes in this issue!


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Warning: Your mobile gadgets can be hazardous to your heath

By Devra Davis, PhD, MPH

“We don’t want to believe that our new toys to which we are so attached—and which bring in enormous profits—could also cause our demise or that of our children. But science is not about belief. Governments’ responsibility to their citizens should not be either.” David Servan-Schreiber, MD, PhD, 1951-2011, preface to Disconnect

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Fracking, Shale Gas and Children’s Health: Toxins and Vulnerable Populations

By Barb Harris

When it comes to exposure to hazardous chemicals, children are not just little adults. “Children are more vulnerable to environmental hazards,” states the Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit, a subcommittee of the American Pediatric Society. “They eat, drink and breathe more than adults on a pound for pound basis.”(1) This means children are proportionally more exposed to toxins in air, water and food.

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Go Home – Talk to Your Fish

By Sandra Steingraber, PhD

Half my life ago, I took a leave of absence from graduate work and traveled to East Africa. There I joined a human rights project investigating the interconnections between famine, warfare, and environmental degradation. I began my research along the Blue Nile River in a downstream refugee camp, where I interviewed refugees from the mountainous communities upstream.

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Camille’s Yummy Summer Recipe: The Watermelon Slushy

By Camille Labchuk

I don’t know about you, but I used to L-O-V-E slushies when I was a kid. Yes, the unnaturally-coloured and artificially-flavoured sugary slushies sold at corner stores in the summertime. In fact, my love continued well beyond my childhood – but those days are thankfully over (I can’t believe I drank that stuff). As I don’t consume chemically-concocted food and beverages anymore, I seldom crave cold, sweet slushie drinks (for many years now). But the hot Toronto weather these past few years has had me finding new ways to cool down, and then I remembered…

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Time to end the Corruption of Public Health Policy by the asbestos industry

By Kathleen Ruff

On July 24, a group of prestigious epidemiology societies issued a powerful position statement, calling for a global ban on asbestos. The Joint Policy Committee of Societies of Epidemiology, comprising 13 national and international epidemiology organisations, specifically called on Canada and the three other asbestos exporting countries – Brazil, Kazakhstan, and Russia – to respect the right to health of all citizen of the planet and to stop exporting a known deadly substance that has already caused hundreds of thousands of unnecessary deaths.

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Let’s study the health impact of the Tar Sands too!

By John Bennett

The federal government recently surprised many when Health Canada announced a $1.8 Million study on health impacts of living near wind turbines. Electricity generation and health are both largely provincial responsibilities – so this is major deviation by a government that has strictly avoided straying into areas of provincial jurisdiction.

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Celebrating the Life of Dr. Rosalie Bertell (1929-2012)

By PCN Staff

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Best to avoid that new car smell

By Jake Cole

Ah, that new car smell – we have all experienced it. To some it is the sign of something good, something new, perhaps some elevated social status. One can even buy a product that is sprayed inside the car after the new car smell has gone, to recreate that smell, “forever”, according to the ad.

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Defeating incinerators one community at a time

By Linda Gasser

INCINERATION CAMPAIGN UPDATE: SUMMER 2012


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We need to create a pesticide-free environment if we’re going to prevent cancer

By Laura Anonen

The Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment (CAPE) is a group of physicians, allied health care practitioners and citizens committed to a healthy and sustainable environment. We share many similar views as Prevent Cancer Now as we also work to promote and support policies and programs that help decrease our exposures to carcinogens and other toxins.

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PCN Shorts…

By PCN Staff

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By PCN Staff

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