Many groups say disease cases will rapidly increase
Ontarians are living in a toxic soup that’s increasing our risk of getting cancer and it’s high time the government takes steps to obliterate this environmental threat, a stakeholder group says.
This province doesn’t have a strategy in place to reduce the amounts of more than 150 toxins and carcinogens in the air we breathe, the food we eat and products we use every day, according to a report released today by the broad-based group.
Organizations, including Cancer Care Ontario, the Canadian Cancer Society, the Ontario Medical Association, the Ontario Federation of Labour and public health units across the province, are calling on all levels of government, with an emphasis in Ontario, for legislation that will decrease, or remove these substances from our air and let us know what we’re being exposed to.
“What we need is to develop a full-blown strategy and if this doesn’t happen we will only see an increase in toxin- and carcinogen-related illnesses,” says Doris Grinspun, executive director of the Registered Nurses’ Association of Ontario, one of the stakeholders.
“More cancer. More asthma. More allergies. This is absolutely urgent. The time for action was yesterday.”
If this hazard is left to fester, it will contribute to tens of thousands of new cancer diagnoses each year, the study suggests, and in 2020 that number is projected at 91,000 new cases. “We’re not only killing the planet, we’re killing ourselves,” Grinspun said.