Monday, April 14, 2008

Recently one of my best friends, a woman I have known and worked with for 10 years was diagnosed with breast cancer. It was heart-breaking news, but she is facing it with dignity and humor (her slogan is she’s going to “Kick cancer’s ass” and she’s blogging every little detail here:
Her announcement has got me thinking though, instead of “so many people have cancer” I start to think, why doesn’t everyone have cancer? It is a dirty and dangerous world we live in. Even if you try to be good, try to eat healthy, try to limit your exposure to toxins, there are just so many unknown variables that you can’t plan against. Here in California, we’ve got something called Prop. 65 or the Green Labeling Law: passed in the mid-80s, it requires that every building or product containing an chemical known to cause cancer must be labeled with a sign. I’ll admit when I first moved to California, it was a little intimidating passing those signs every day on my way into work…or into the grocery store… Today they’ve become so common that I barely notice them anymore. Every time you you’re your car with gasoline, you expose yourself to a carcinogen. Every time you purchase, use or come in contact with plywood, particle board or wood veneer, you expose yourself to a carcinogen. Livestock hormones in meat used for human consumption, prescription medications showing up in drinking water supplies, lead in children’s toys, the list goes on and on. When is the world going full realize that we are creating our own medical tragedies?

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