Cancer Action NY and the National Conversation Network

Teamwork on Implementation of “Addressing Public Health and Chemical Exposures:  an Action Agenda”

 Disease Prevention in the St. Lawrence River Valley Via Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) Exposure Minimization Education


Cancer Action NY has worked since the founding of the organization in January 2000 to utilize scientific knowledge on the subjects of chemical exposure and disease outcome to prevent cancer and other chronic diseases.  We have focused much of this work on the persistent organic pollutants (POPs).  Our endeavors have followed two main tracks:  direct educational outreach to the general public on the subject of POPs exposure minimization and advocacy aimed at motivating governmental public health entities to provide educational outreach on this subject.

We are a member organization of the National Conversation Network.  The National Conversation Network provides a collaborative mechanism for implementation of “Addressing Public Health and Chemical Exposures:  An Action Agenda”.  Our focus has been on implementation of the recommendations set forth in the Prevention Chapter of the Action Agenda.

Cancer Action NY has a strong working relationship with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Environmental Health and Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR).  Over the course of the past several years, we have collaborated with ATSDR to generate an addendum for that agency’s Toxicological Profile for dioxins.  The collaboration has expanded and there are currently two educational documents in production, one addressing PCB exposure minimization and the other addressing dioxins.

We have an educational outreach on the Akwesasne Reserve.  This endeavor involves door to door leafleting on POPs exposure minimization and the creation of several websites, including Akwesasne Health and POPs Health Hazard Advisory.  The work has flourished and we are currently creating a film on the subject of the major disease problems caused by exposure to industrial chemicals on the reserve.  We are also organizing an awareness raising concert.

The town governments of St. Lawrence County have shown an interest in partnering to provide POPs exposure minimization educational outreach to their residents.  Town of Waddington support for the concept of POPs exposure minimization education led to the publication of a one page review of the 2010 World Health Organization report, “Persistent Organic Pollutants:  Impact on Child Health” in the Fall 2012 issue of the Waddington Recorder.  The towns of Canton, Colton, Potsdam, Oswegatchie and Russell are now contemplating including POPs exposure minimization information on their websites.