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Testing vital to understand cancer causes

IT was appalling, but not unexpected, to read that, by 2020, almost half of Britons will get cancer during their lifetime (News, June 8).

It is often said that this rise is partly due to an ageing population, but cancer rates have risen more than life expectancy. Cancer incidence has also risen in children and young people.

There are more than 70,000 chemicals in use now and plastic chemicals, such as bisphenol A, can disrupt hormones.

Benzene is a proven cause of cancer, yet is widely used by industry.

The EU now admits that many chemicals were allowed into common use without proper safety testing to see if they cause cancer.

Professor Andreas Kortenkamp, of the University of London, has said the use of a range of commonly used chemicals which can interfere with the human immune system must be reduced.

Calling on the EU to take action, he said: "We will not be able to reduce cancer without addressing preventable causes."


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