Alliance for Cancer Prevention

Calls for an investigation of the high rates of breast cancer at Canadian Toll Bridge

Researchers have found what is believed to be a cluster of breast cancer cases among women who work or have worked on the Ambassador Bridge, Canada. The bridge which spans between the USA and Windsor in Canada, is a toll bridge employing customs officers.

Jane McArthur, a University of Windsor PhD candidate in sociology and social justice, was studying women’s knowledge of breast cancer risks, interviewing 25 customs and duty-free shop workers when she heard there may be 10 to 20 or more cases of breast cancer in the last 20 years.

The Customs and Immigration Union reacted by joining Jane McArthur in a call for an investigation, funded by the employer, the Canadian Border Services Agency. The issue has been a concern for years with the Customs and Immigration Union which is part of PSAC (Public Service Alliance of Canada).

Jane McArthur, PhD Candidate, Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Criminology at University of Windsor said the women interviewed wondered about the effect of the vehicle exhaust, stress and shift work had on their risk of breast cancer. Research suggests air pollution and vehicle exhaust are associated with an elevated risk of breast cancer, she said.

McArthur is hoping a further study could document how many and what type of breast cancers were found, and encourage policies that would mitigate the work exposure at the new bridge. The study would also be important for compensation for women with breast cancer if it is linked to their work.

Newspaper article from the Windsor Star on the findings.

Poster presentation by Jane McArthur on her Investigations into Womens Narratives of Breast Cancer presented to the 4th International Cancer Research Conference hosted by the Windsor Cancer Research Group on November 19, in Windsor, Ontario.


Launch of new Coalition: Citizens for Science in Pesticide Regulation

The Alliance has joined with a new coalition comprising of 110 civil socities and institutions, as well as individual experts to call on European regulators to urgently reform the current pesticide risk assessment and risk management system.

Citizens for Science in Pesticide Regulation coalition produced a manifesto which highlights the reasons why the current pesticide risk assessment and management needs an overhaul. Although theoretically the European Union has one of the best regulations for pesticides in the world, it is not implemented in practice.

The manifesto calls for the prioritisation of public health, the environment and sustainable agriculture which ensures that decision makers rely on data that is complete, public, up to date and free from industry bias, which enables decision makers , civil society and the scientific community to scrutinise the integrity and effectivenesss of the policy. 

The current pesticide risk assessment procedure that determines the approval of pesticide substances in the European Union ends up authorising the use of harmful chemicals in the production of our food and management of public green areas, putting at risk the health of European workers, citizens, and our environment.

The manifesto was first launched in Brussels on 31st October by the EU and national civil society organisations Pesticide Action Network (PAN) Europe, ClientEarth, Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO), Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL), Global 2000 (Austria), Generations Futures (France) and Justice Pesticides (France), with a scientific conference followed by a press conference.

“If the EU pesticide regulation were properly implemented and risk assessment methods were overhauled to be scientifically rigorous and objective, a number of pesticides that were previously deemed safe would be shown to endanger human health and/or the environment and would have to be banned or restricted.”


Diesel exhaust is a serious cancer risk in miners

Miners exposed to high levels of diesel exhaust face a dramatically increased lung cancer risk, a long delayed official US study has found. In a study of non-metal miners in the United States, federal government scientists reported that heavy exposure to diesel exhaust increased the risk of death from lung cancer.
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