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GREEN CANCER THREAT

PUBLISHED: 17:44 16 April 2008 | UPDATED: 09:39 23 August 2010

ENVIRONMENTAL causes of cancer have been highlighted by campaigners who claim they are not considered in policy to prevent the disease. The European Parliament has amended and passed a resolution proposed to highlight environmental factors by South East

ENVIRONMENTAL causes of cancer have been highlighted by campaigners who claim they are not considered in policy to prevent the disease.

The European Parliament has amended and passed a resolution proposed to highlight environmental factors by South East MEP Caroline Lucas (pictured).

A Cancer Resolution which aims to improve the early detection, diagnosis and treatment of the disease was passed in Brussels last Thursday. Ms Lucas proposed changes to the resolution based on scientific evidence showing that cancers can be caused by environmental factors.

Those included in the new resolution were toxic chemicals found in household goods, pesticides and poor air quality.

The motion was originally proposed by Independent MEP for Munster, Republic of Ireland, Kathy Sinnott. Ms Lucas said: "This landmark decision by the European Parliament means that MEPs now officially recognise that the environmental causes like pollution and chemical contamination must be considered in any strategy to combat cancer."

Ms Lucas is now calling on the European Commission and European Council to commit to the proposed Cancer Task Force to be set up. She hopes it will act as a charter for the protection of cancer patients and chronically sick people in the workforce. It would also support initiatives to prevent the importing of items containing carcinogenic chemicals, and for measures to strengthen food monitoring for chemicals, including pesticides.

She added: "While cancer is caused by many factors in multiple stages, a link is increasingly being made between toxic chemicals, especially so-called gender-bending hormone-disruptors, and cancers like that of the breast, which kills more than 10,000 people each year in the UK alone.

"Moreover, according to a recent study by the trade unions, at least eight per cent of annual cancer deaths are directly caused by exposure to carcinogens at the workplace. Substituting carcinogens with less harmful substances could prevent this exposure, and a tightening of legislation would ensure that employers fully protect their workers."

The Cancer Resolution will now be forwarded to the European Commission to consider.

jason.goodyer@archant.co.uk

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