Health Risks and the Environment
adapted to HTML from
lecture notes of Prof. Stephen A. Nelson Tulane University
The following data are from the September 1996 issue of Scientic American, Special Issue on "What You Need to Know About Cancer"
Causes of Fatal Cancers
The following data have been calculated based on the information
shown in the graph on page 94 of the September 1996 issue of Scientific American
|Diet and Obesity||30|
|Perinatal and Excessive Growth||8|
|Sedentary Life Style||3|
|Ionizing and Ultraviolet Radiation||2|
|Food Additives (including Salt)||1|
|Medical Products and Procedures||1|
|Causes of Death in 1992||Rate||%|
|1. Diseases of the Heart||281.4||33.0|
|3. Cerebrovascular diseases||56.4||6.6|
|4. Chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases||36.0||4.2|
|5. Accidents and adverse effects||34.0||4.0|
|. . . Motor vehicle accidents||16.1||1.9|
|. . . All other accidents and adverse effects||18.0||2.1|
|6. Pneumonia and influenza||29.7||3.5|
|10. Homicide and legal intervention||10.0||1.2|
|11. Chronic liver disease||9.9||1.2|
|12. Kidney Diseases||8.7||1.0|
|15. Birth Problems||6.2||0.7|
|. . . All other causes||117.6||13.|
They suggest that most types of cancer are preventable and that the "war on cancer" which has emphasized improved cancer treatment has had only limited success. The efforts of the "war on cancer" should be better balanced with more extensive efforts to reduce cancer. They suggest that about about two-thirds of cancers could be prevented. Inherited genes that cause a very high risk of getting cancer are responsible for only 2% of fatal cancers. About 30% of cancers are probably not preventable.
They recommend that to reduce your chances of getting cancer, you should:
Minerals, Rocks and People
- A group of minerals with high length to width ratios
- 95% of asbestos mined is chrysotile
- 5% is crocidolite and amosite
- Decreases lung efficiency.
- Is usually the result of a long-term occupational exposure to asbestos
- Cancer of stomach and lung lining.
- Results from the repeated enhalation of coal dust.
- Results from long term inhaling of fine grained quartz.