2012-2017 New York State Comprehensive Cancer Control Plan Falls Short of Identifying Major Industrial Chemical Exposure Cancer Hazards for Exposure Minimization Action

On December 19, 2012, the New York State Cancer Consortium and the New York State Department of Health (DOH) released the final draft of the 2012-2017 New York State Comprehensive Cancer Control Plan (CCCP).  This document contains a 2 page section on environmental exposure.  The information provided is seriously lacking in detail.  No industrial chemical carcinogens are named.  The scientific research literature contains a large number of peer-reviewed research articles that report increased cancer risk associated with exposures to specific chemicals and groups of chemicals.  This is so for carcinogenic metals, including:  lead, arsenic, cadmium, chromium and nickel.  This is so for persistent organic pollutants (POPs), including:  dioxins, PCBs and certain fat-soluble pesticides.  This is so for by-products of combustion of fossil fuels, including:  benzene, formaldehyde and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.  Stopping short of naming these chemicals and groups of chemicals in the CCCP and stopping short of presenting strategies for minimizing exposure to these chemicals and groups of chemicals can only be described as a failure to use scientific knowledge to protect public health.

The Environmental Exposure section of the CCCP provides an indication that the Cancer Consortium and the DOH are moving toward eventually naming chemicals and groups of chemicals and presenting strategies to minimize exposure, but this is not enough.  The people of New York State need to continue to pressure the Cancer Consortium and the DOH to assist with providing the residents of our state with warnings of the avoidable industrial chemical exposure cancer hazards.  The CCCP should make clear the existence of the industrial chemical exposure cancer hazards named above.  It should set forth strategies for exposure minimization that address these avoidable cancer hazards.

The CCCP lacks the content described above because corporations that have financial interests involving chemical carcinogens exert great influence upon the Cancer Consortium and the DOH.  New York State needs a CCCP that exists for the purpose of protecting public health to the fullest extent that is possible at the current stage of scientific knowledge.  Corporate pressure on politicians should not be allowed to cause the CCCP to fall short.

The CCCP is available on the Cancer Consortium website and can be accessed at the URL found below.