Today my guests are Ken Cook, President of Environmental Working Group and Curt DellaValle, Senior Scientist at EWG. In August, EWG released a new guide called Rethinking Carcinogens which summarizes new research about cancer from the Halifax Project. This collaboration of more than 300 scientists are investigating ways in which toxic chemicals we are exposed to every day may cause cancer. This includes 85 common chemicals not known to be carcinogenic on their own, 50 of which were found to disrupt cancer-related pathways at low doses typically encountered in the environment. We’ll learn more about this in today’s show. www.ewg.org
Ken Cook, president and co-founder of Environmental Working Group, is widely recognized as one of the environmental community’s most prominent and influential critics of the nation’s broken approach to protecting families and children from toxic substances. Under Cook’s leadership over the past 20 years, EWG has empowered American families with easy-to-use, data-driven tools to help reduce their exposure to potentially harmful ingredients in foods, drinking water, cosmetics and other household products. These unique digital resources are searched hundreds of millions times by consumers, journalists and policy makers.
Curt DellaValle, Senior Scientist at EWG, brings his background in epidemiology and cancer research experience to work on the development of EWG’s Cancer Prevention Initiative. He holds a BS in biology from the University of Connecticut and a Ph.D. in environmental health from Yale University. Prior to joining EWG, Curt was a fellow at the National Cancer Institute where he conducted research evaluating exposure to environmental contaminants and risk of cancer, with a particular emphasis on the improvement of exposure assessment methods in epidemiologic studies.
TOXIC FREE TALK RADIO
Chemicals That Don’t Cause Cancer Themselves Can Cause Cancer When Combined
Host: Debra Lynn Dadd
Guest: Ken Cook
Date of Broadcast: September 29, 2015
DEBRA: Hi, I’m Debra Lynn Dadd, and this is Toxic Free Talk Radio, where we talk about how to thrive in a toxic world and live toxic free.
It’s Tuesday, September 29, 2015, and I’m here in Clearwater, Florida, where the sun is showing, and there are no thunderstorms, so we should be fine and have no interruptions or background noise.
Today, we’re going to be talking about a very, very, very – this might be one of the most important shows that I’ve ever done or may ever do.
I’ve been studying toxic chemicals and their effects for more than 30 years, and what I’ve learned is in the field of toxicology, they divide up chemicals and they say this one causes cancer. This one causes birth defects. This one causes headaches, et cetera.
They even name – have a category like neurotoxic, which means that it’s toxic to your nervous system.
Now, there’s a new study that’s going on, I don’t know how long it’s been going on, but it’s what their finding is that chemicals that were thought to not cause cancer by themselves, when they combine together in your body, do cause cancer.
They’re still doing this investigation. They’re still doing the scientific work. But this is extremely, extremely important because we tend to think that – we’d look up a chemical like formaldehyde, and we’ll see here are all these studies, and these tests have been done, and they say, “Okay, formaldehyde has these health effects. They’re safe or dangerous in these amounts.”
But that’s only looking at it in isolation. What this study is showing is actual scientific proof that when you combine chemicals together, they have totally different effects.
So this means that you can’t just let that chemical in isolation and say, “This chemical causes this effect” because you don’t know – we’re exposed to so many chemicals in the world that you don’t know what the combined effect is going to be.
This is why I’ve been saying for years and years and years that what we need to do is reduce our exposure to all toxic chemicals because we don’t know what the combinations are, and now here’s the science about it.
This study is being done by an organization called “The Halifax Project”. It’s called “The Halifax Project.” They published some papers this summer, and I went and looked them all up. They’re very lengthy and have a lot of big words in them and very difficult to read.
But fortunately, the Environmental Working Group read them all and translated them into language that we can understand. And so I have today with us Ken Cook, who is the president and co-founder of the Environmental Working Group, and Curt DellaValle, who is a senior scientist at the Environmental Working Group.
They’re going to talk with us about what’s going on with this study.
Hi, Ken and Curt.
KEN COOK: Hi, Debra.
CURT DELLAVALLE: Hello.
KEN COOK: Glad to be here.
DEBRA: Thank you.
CURT DELLAVALLE: – [cross-talking 00:04:30] on the show.
DEBRA: Thank you. I’m very pleased to have you here because I just think that this is probably the most important thing you’ve ever done.
It’s that important.
So Ken, as the co-founder, why don’t you start by telling us a little bit about Environmental Working Group, what you do, and how you came to be.
KEN COOK: Well, Environmental Working Group started 22 years ago. It was a small group of us working on environmental issues, initially working on the connections between agriculture and the environment.
Once we’ve started doing that work, we started branching out to adjacent issues that obviously presented us with some serious problems that we thought are particular capabilities of scientific research, database analysis and communications lent themselves too.
So that took us from agricultural subsidies and how to reform them, to pesticide issues, and what should be done to reduce exposure, particularly to children. This was in the early 1990s, to pesticides and food and from other sources.
From there we branched out to the problems posed by other categories of toxic chemicals.
And so recently, we became aware of the Halifax Project which is one of the projects that was initiated by an organization, a very small, non-profit, in Halifax, Nova Scotia, based there, called “Getting to Know Cancer.”
We had gotten in contact with this organization because they had this very intriguing hypothesis, and I just want to emphasize, it is still a hypothesis from them. But they devoted considerable amount of scientific research looking at the published literature to verify that this hypothesis is very well worth now testing in future laboratory studies.
The hypothesis is pretty much as you suggested at the top of the interview, which is we have always thought of carcinogens in the context of individual chemicals that by themselves would cause cancer.
And so what we’ve now done with the Halifax Project, we’ve seen them do, and these are dozens and dozens of scientists from around the world, is suggest that if you take closer look at the processes that we now know contribute to the formation of cancer that turn normal cells into cancer cells. Each of those various processes can be affected by chemicals even if they are not carcinogens in the regulatory sense.
So this opens up a whole series of important questions about how chemical exposures of all kinds might be affecting our bodies in ways that aren’t, strictly speaking, one chemical equals a carcinogen, but more one chemical might be contributing in ensemble fashion, in combination with other chemicals. It might be contributing to the risk of cancer.
DEBRA: I’m just so happy this is being done. I write so much about the subject. I’m always trying to understand the chemicals better. I’m particularly from a consumer viewpoint. I have no scientific background. I just have been studying it for many years as a consumer.
And so I want to think that if – what I need to do is I need to establish, as a consumer advocate, which are the chemicals that we should not be using, and that we should be finding safer alternatives for.
And so over the years, I’ve collected my own list of what I think that is. And so when I write, I write about how can we stay away from formaldehyde, for example.
I have a list of carcinogens which I’ve gathered from all different places that list carcinogens and have determined that. That is a category.
I also did an organization of symptoms and illnesses and things. Several years ago, I just looked at all the different body systems and I said, “What are the chemicals that affect the nervous system? What are the chemicals that affect the digestive system? The endocrine system, et cetera?”
And some of those chemicals are affecting more than one system. They just don’t go into the body. Some of them go in and target certain things, certain parts of the body, or they cause certain illnesses. But that’s not always the case.
So this is so important.
We only have just a few seconds left before we need to go to break. When we come back, what I’d like us to do is have you start telling us about the study itself, and you have this on your website. I have a link to it, if you just go to ToxicFreeTalkRadio.com, and find this show. The link is there.
But there’s a section called “Rethinking Carcinogens.” And I think if you just type in “rethinking carcinogens” in any search engine, it’ll take you to this page.
So the things that we’re going to be talking about today, you can then find them on the website and go over them as carefully as you’d like to.
You’re listening to Toxic Free Talk Radio. I’m Debra Lynn Dadd, and my guests today are Ken Cook and Curt DellaValle. They’re from Environmental Working Group and the Environmental Working Group website is EWG.org.
We’ll be right back.
DEBRA: You’re listening to Toxic Free Talk Radio. I’m Debra Lynn Dadd, and my guests today are Ken Cook, who is the president and co-founder of Environmental Working Group, and Curt DellaValle. He is a senior scientist at EWG. And he’s working on the Cancer Prevention Initiative.
Curt, since you’re working on the Initiative, why don’t you tell us about the difference between a complete and a partial carcinogen.
CURT DELLAVALLE: I think Ken touched on it before that complete carcinogens are what are identified now. These are chemicals that on their own, can cause cancer or cause progression of cancer.
You mentioned formaldehyde is an example of what we know as a complete carcinogen. Exposure to formaldehyde can potentially cause cancer.
Partial carcinogens are a term that is now being phrased just because of – largely, in part of this Halifax Project’s findings. But these are chemicals that we think, on their own, are not capable of causing cancer. But they can disrupt certain cancer-related pathways.
And given that we know cancer develops through a multistep process, in combination with other chemicals that might also affect other cancer-related pathways, whether it’s cell division or impacting the way our normal bodies get rid of old and dying cells, those chemicals in combination might present a carcinogenic mixture.
And so each individual component would consider a partial carcinogen.
DEBRA: So as the development of cancer is going through its process, then I think what you’re saying is that the different chemicals that may not cause cancer in and of themselves might affect some part of that process, and then together, they result – can you just outline what is the process of cancer developing?
CURT DELLAVALLE: Cancer, just in general terms, is just when a normal cell begins to act abnormally, and it begins to divide uncontrollably. This uncontrolled cell division ends up creating, in most case, a mass of cells, which we know is a tumor.
And that would be what we would consider cancer.
So that’s the general process. Along the way, there may be chemicals that can interact on certain parts of this process. There may be a chemical that comes in and interact with our cells in a way that super speed their cell division. So now they’re rapidly dividing.
If that now abnormal behavior is not detected by our body’s defense system, or [inaudible 00:16:48] our bodies are unable to handle that, then that uncontrolled division can lead to other problems where another chemical might come in and disrupt how blood supply is supplied to those cells, all this leading toward the mass of cells as we would know as a tumor.
DEBRA: This is just amazing to me. It’s amazing but it’s also – it makes sense to me that all of these chemicals in our bodies – do you have a number of how many chemicals might be in our bodies at any given time?
CURT DELLAVALLE: [inaudible 00:17:27] we’re actually working on a report just chronicling carcinogens that have been measured in our body. So it’s [inaudible 00:17:38] to say. For any individual, how many chemicals you would have in your body. But you would think it would be hundreds of chemicals.
Some of them may be harmful, some of them not. And of course, just because a chemical is present in your body, it doesn’t mean that it’s going to be present at levels that will be harmful for you.
DEBRA: So if somebody is exposed to a carcinogen, what are some of the factors that might be going on, such as the dose, as to whether or not it would affect them? Because I know – one of the things I have on my website is a Q&A. And so people are asking me questions all the time.
One of the most frequently heard thoughts is, how can I – it’s said in various different ways. But basically the idea is how can I not be exposed to this chemical or whatever it is completely?
My dishes might have a certain amount of lead on them. Is it okay to eat off of them? Because I should have zero amount of lead.
What are some of the factors that people should be considering when they’re thinking about [inaudible 00:18:46] may be exposed to these chemicals or not, and how much?
CURT DELLAVALLE: It depends on, I guess, what the chemical is. In general, if you’re trying to say, “I’m going to eliminate all bad exposures from my life.” That’s not going to be possible, unless you live in a bubble.
So that’s not possible. And obviously, people are living – our life expectancy is increasing. So it’s not a necessarily harmful thing that we’re being exposed to through all these chemicals, but certain chemicals and certain chemicals in too much of a quantity that are really the problem.
There are a lot of factors that are going to influence whether an individual is highly susceptible.
Just the other day, I saw a news article about – there have been certain genes identified for smokers that increase or decrease their risk or susceptibility.
Smoking, we know, is highly carcinogenic. It causes a lot of cancers, lung in particular. But some people can smoke all their lives and never develop cancer. And some people smoke just a little bit and they’re the unlucky ones that do get cancer.
DEBRA: My great uncle lived to be 99 and he was a chain smoker.
CURT DELLAVALLE: Exactly. So they’re not identifying certain genes that are protective against the effects of smoking.
We don’t know if we have those genes or not at this point in time, but certainly genetics is going to play a factor.
There’s even just random chance. Our cells, we have trillion of cells, they’re all dividing. Each time they divide, there’s a chance of an error, even though it’s minutely small. There’s a chance that that error won’t be caught, and if those errors propagate, then that’s when we have a problem.
So there is that factor too.
And then of course, the amount of exposure you have, the dose you are receiving.
DEBRA: So is your conclusion that if we know something causes cancer that it would probably be a good idea to be prudent and avoid it to the best of our ability, just because we [inaudible 00:21:07]?
CURT DELLAVALLE: [inaudible 00:21:07] for sure, yes.
DEBRA: We need to go to break. When we come back, we’ll talk more about the study that is showing how chemicals [inaudible 00:21:20] cause cancer by themselves, can cause cancer when they are combined together.
I’m Debra Lynn Dadd. My guests are Ken Cook, president and co-founder of Environmental Working Group, and Curt DellaValle, who is a senior scientist at Environmental Working Group. He’s working on the Cancer Prevention Initiative.
The Environmental Working Group website is EWG.org, and we’ll be right back.
DEBRA: You’re listening to Toxic Free Talk Radio. I’m Debra Lynn Dadd, and my guests today are Ken Cook, president and co-founder of Environmental Working Group, and Curt DellaValle, senior scientist at EWG. And their website is EWG.org.
So one of the pages that I thought that was the most interesting in your report, “Rethinking Carcinogens,” and by the way, during the break, I went to a search engine and typed “Rethinking Carcinogens” and EWG’s report came out right at the top. So that’s something that you can do to get to these pages that we’re talking about.
But there’s a page called “Hallmarks of Cancer.” And it talks about how the body has many layers of safeguards to control cell division and preventing [inaudible 00:27:21] damage. And that a chemical that interferes with this single cancer-related hallmark process is unlikely to cancer. But combine the chemical that interferes with cell division cycle with one that interferes with the cellular dead cycle, and you begin to see how exposures to chemical mixtures have the potential to overwhelm the body’s defenses.
I’d like for us to talk about this page and this idea during the segment. Who would like to go first?
KEN COOK: I’d let Curt take the first swing at this because the Hallmarks of Cancer framework was really the inspiration for the Halifax Project because that is a couple of essays actually by that name that sought to organize what was understood around the year 2000. And then they issued this follow-up review in 2011.
How do you make sense of what we’ve learned from cancer biology over the past 25 years or so? That’s what the Hallmarks of Cancer framework was designed to do, is give some structure to that and yield an important insight that resulted in what we now know and discussing is the Halifax Project.
But I’ll let Curt speak to these hallmarks.
DEBRA: Before you start, I just want to also mention to our listeners, encouraging you to go to this page that – what’s on this page is a list of the different hallmarks which we’ll hopefully talk about a little. But then there’s a table at the bottom that says “chemicals with evidence affecting cancer hallmark processes” where you have this list of 10 different steps or hallmarks that contribute to the formation of cancer.
This page also lists individually the chemicals that contribute to each one of them. So it’s so interesting to me.
Most people have heard of Bisphenol A, and here, BPA contributes to – here’s the first one and the second one. It’s all over this list.
And so BPA isn’t just – it does a lot of damage.
So Curt, tell us about the Hallmarks of Cancer.
CURT DELLAVALLE: So Ken had mentioned that these were the ideas to – the structure to what we know about the biology of cancer.
So the Hallmarks of Cancer were just the characteristics that distinguish cancer cell from a normally operating cell. These things include self-sufficient cell division, which is normally our bodies control the division of cell. They tell when to divide, when to stop dividing. Cancer cells stop listening to our body signals, and they just divide on their own.
Resisting cell [inaudible 00:30:36]. As I said, when our body detects that a cell is either old or damaged or during the division process, DNA has been corrupted to some degree, it will act to self-destruct that cell. But cancer cells can avoid that process and continue to proliferate even though they’re damaged.
So these are just the three of those eight characteristics that distinguish the normal cells. And they also define – the reason there is 10 because there are two of them that they consider initially hallmarks of the cancer cells themselves, but things that enable those eight characteristics to arise like inflammation.
Inflammation creates an environment in which these cancer hallmarks are likely to arise.
DEBRA: A lot of people have inflammation.
We’ve talked about inflammation on other shows and here it is again.
Can you tell us about – I’ll just look at this page here. The first one is self-sufficient cell division. And so it has a low dose effect, threshold effect and low dose effect unknown.
When people come to this page and read these, what do those terms mean?
CURT DELLAVALLE: Those are just classifying what dose you would need to have to – of this chemical for it to have that effect on whatever particular process you’re talking about, that specific hallmark.
If it has a low dose effect, then that means there’s no known safe level. Even a very small exposure can have an effect on this cancer-related process.
A threshold effect means that you need to reach some sort of threshold of exposure. So you need to be exposed to at least a certain amount before that effect happens.
And then the effect unknown just means there hasn’t been enough research on this particular chemical to know what dose it’s acting at. We just know that there are some doses which it does behave in this way.
DEBRA: Some of the – like Bisphenol A is on the low dose effect [inaudible 00:32:55] for self-sufficient cell division. So even doing something like handling cash register receipts on a daily basis would give you a low dose.
CURT DELLAVALLE: It’s funny too. That is one of the things that I have – in my head, I stopped doing it, even though I know it’s a very small exposure. I usually turn down a cash receipt now.
DEBRA: I do too. And I’ve actually just started doing that in the last couple of months. And I’ve also started – because I actually realize that the reason that receipts are given goes way back pre-digital age, where you have to have a piece of paper to show that you paid for the item that you purchased.
But now you can walk into any big box store and say, “I bought it here. I’m bringing back my whatever.” And they can just look it up on the computer, and you don’t even need a receipt.
So our digital age has changed all that. And so I’ve been doing two things. One is I’ve been refusing the receipts, or if I think I need it, I have them put it in a bag and I don’t touch it. Or the third is I ask them, “Are these BPA free receipt?”
And I am just [inaudible 00:34:15] at how many people don’t even know what I’m talking about. They look at me strangely and then I go and I ask the manager. I’m making this big deal as I go around from store to store about these BPA-free receipts.
People don’t even know what it is.
We need to go to break. You’re listening to Toxic Free Talk Radio. I’m Debra Lynn Dadd, and my guests today are Ken Cook, president and co-founder of Environmental Working Group, and Curt DellaValle, senior scientist at Environmental Working Group, who is working on the development of the Cancer Prevention Initiative.
We’ll be right back.
= COMMERCIAL BREAK =
DEBRA: You’re listening to Toxic Free Talk Radio. I’m Debra Lynn Dadd, and my guests today are Ken Cook, president and co-founder of Environmental Working Group, and Curt DellaValle, senior scientist at Environmental Working Group, who is working on the Cancer Prevention Initiative. Their website is EWG.org.
For both of you, I know one of the things that Environmental Working Group has been doing is focusing on – well, you have a lot of consumer recommendations who also are focusing on the legislative side of it, which is something that I don’t do. I’ve just been working on the consumer side of it for the last 30 years.
So I really appreciate all of the legislative [inaudible 00:39:35] that you do, and I’d like to know what are your recommendations, given this new information about cancer. But also just the fact that – when I started, I used to think that I could say, okay, here’s a toxic chemical, formaldehyde. We’ve been using that throughout the show. So let’s just continue.
So here’s a toxic chemical, formaldehyde, and you can avoid being exposed to formaldehyde by using solid wood instead of particle board, for example.
And so that was a very clear cut choice. But the problem that I see that we’re running into now, and I don’t know really when this started, but it seems to be getting worse and worse, is that there are some things that you can’t avoid because they are now ubiquitous.
So where do you think we need to go from here? Ken, why don’t you answer first?
KEN COOK: Well, to start with, I think the notion of giving people practical advice that doesn’t require them to abandon life as we know it in the modern world, but gives them options to avoid exposures to toxic chemicals. That kind of advice is very, very important.
There’s a lot of it out there. We advise people to take a careful look at their sources before they make decisions. But I don’t think there’s any question that we really do benefit when we are open to information that informs us about where toxic exposures might be happening because it’s often very straightforward and easy to avoid them.
DEBRA: Yes, it is. I would agree with that.
KEN COOK: So that’s the first step because when I’m sitting – I’m up giving a talk to an audience, and I look out and I see – it seems like every woman in the audience is pregnant. And I’m about to give them some really worrisome information about toxic chemicals including that babies are exposed even while they’re in the womb.
In my mind, I’m thinking I can’t give the answer to all of the questions that I know are coming as wait for the government to solve this problem for you because we know that the government not only not going to do it soon, but there are economic vested interests out there pushing very hard to make sure the government doesn’t take action.
So the personal steps and those can be done with, I think, in a very ordinary way to dramatically reduce a lot of these exposures. But at the policy level, a couple of things are important. One, it’s really important to pay attention to what may be happening in your state, to make sure that if there’s legislation moving through in the state capital that might help reduce chemical exposures, take some worrisome chemicals off the market or issue warnings, give you information about them, on product labels and so forth.
That kind of right to know transparency and state regulatory action, it’s important to be aware of that happening in your state.
California, for example, where I live, there’s a lot of action in that realm. And when California takes action, for example, restrict Bisphenol A in sippy cups and baby bottles, it can have an impact across the whole economy because of the size of the California economy.
First, pay attention to the state level action.
Secondly, if I were to give one recommendation, it would be, stay tuned to Environmental Working Group. Go to EWG.org. If you’re inclined, get on our e-mail list. We will keep you up to date on some of the most important debates unfolding in Congress that have to do with efforts to protect us by regulation and better, stronger laws on toxic chemicals.
It’s a very tough fight. We’re up against an enormous well-funded chemical industry that has spent tens of millions of dollar in recent years pushing at the legislature to establish weak rules and regulations around toxic chemicals.
We’re in a constant battle both at the regulatory agencies like FDA, the Food and Drug Administration, and the Environmental Protection Agency, the EPA. We’re fighting in the halls there.
We’re also fighting back against these interest in Congress to make sure that if Congress passes a new law, to regulate toxic chemicals, it’s going to be a strong one.
But we’re really up against a lot of money, a lot of suits, as we say, a lot of lobbyists for industry walking the halls, and button holing legislators, and giving them campaign contributions. But we’re on the front lines at EWG.org to do that. And we would really appreciate your help.
DEBRA: Yes, well, we do need to be addressing these issues on all levels. Absolutely. I used to think in the past that if consumers would just make the right choices that it would all turn out fine. But I do see that we need to be – in my best of all possible worlds, the way it would go would be that everybody would think like we think.
Everybody would look at the toxic evidence and that they would say, “We shouldn’t be using formaldehyde. It shouldn’t be on every permanent pressed bedsheet.” Just embalming people every night.
And that it just makes common sense to give consumers products that will enable their health and happiness, and that everybody who produces toxic chemicals and products made from them would just stop because it is common sense, and we have the right to life liberty and the pursuit of happiness. And toxic chemicals doesn’t contribute to that.
KEN COOK: I agree with that. I think – not everyone is going to obviously go at this with a kind of training and background that Curt has, for example. He really understands the science here. So there’s an important need to translate. I think from our standpoint, there are a couple of principles that we apply.
First of all, we don’t have all the answers. We can’t tell you that a chemical that’s in a sippy cup or a baby bottle or that is even in your bloodstream because you’ve been exposed from some source. We can’t tell you that that exposure is definitely going to cause a health problem. We know there’s a great deal of uncertainty.
What we can say is if you can avoid those exposures, and can do it in a way – sometimes, it might take a while to change your routines or your buying behaviors or what have you, give it a try because we know you can knock down thousands of exposure [inaudible 00:46:50] eliminate them from your routine and from your life just with paying a little bit of attention.
So that makes all the sense in the world. The bigger issue though is we need to re-tool and re-invent some major industries here that are [inaudible 00:47:06] consumer products and particle boards for homes and so forth.
When we’ve caught some of these companies doing things that are demonstrably bad for our health, they made change happen. We know that has happened with respect to lots of different areas, lots of different consumer product categories. But we need to do more.
Consumer pressure adds to that. It sends signals to companies that they need to re-invent how they make things, the types of products that they sell, and as that pressure builds, a lot of these things we’re seeking, I think, will come about into market pressure.
But one of the key components of creating these positive markets is a regulatory system that rewards invention for safer products, instead of slowing it down.
DEBRA: I totally agree. You and I have been doing this for a lot of years. And I think that both of us can see that there has been progress made.
When I first started, I remember the only clothes – let’s see. I didn’t start writing until 1984, but in 1978, I started looking at toxic chemicals and trying to find non-toxic products. The only thing I could wear was a tee shirt and jeans.
Now, we have organic everything. And there organic nothing in 1978. I couldn’t even find organic food in the stores. And there are all of these non-toxic cleaning products, great water filters, and people are talking about detox.
All these things weren’t happening before. I see a change in the right direction.
KEN COOK: I think that’s right. There are a lot of positive signs. It’s no time to be complacent not personally, and certainly, we don’t want to – even people who are turned off by government, and I know a lot of people are. They feel like nothing ever happens that’s good in Washington.
I am sympathetic with a lot of those views. But look at it this way. If you step back from these, what I think of is, civil obligations to engage with your government, the people who represent you, someone else is going to step in. That someone else is very likely to be a lobbyist for the chemical industry, a lobbyist for the coal or petroleum or oil industry. Fill in the blank.
They are very active in Washington. They will have their way if they can. And it’s very important for those of us who feel that we’re speaking on behalf of the public health to be there to contest these important policy issues.
DEBRA: I’m going to stop you right there because we’re at the end of the show, and the music is going to start playing. So thank you so much Ken and Curt for being here. Again, their website is EWG.org. And you can type in “Rethinking Carcinogens” into the search engine and come up with [inaudible 00:50:12] we’re talking about today.
I’m Debra Lynn Dadd. You’re listening to Toxic Free Talk Radio. Be well.