Health groups asked members of the EP ENVI committee to step up on clean air for health with science-based air quality standards.
To mark the start of the European Week Against Cancer 2022, the Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) and the European Cancer Leagues (ECL) have teamed up to relaunch an infographic telling the story behind environmental cancer prevention.
Cancer causes 1 in 4 deaths in the European Union and is the first cause of death at work in the EU. Frequent exposure to some cancer-causing chemical substances at work and during our daily lives, such as pesticides, endocrine disrupting chemicals and air pollution, poses serious health risks.
“As cancer leagues working across Europe on prevention and health promotion, we believe that tackling harmful pollutants in our environment as part of Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan is key to reducing cancer risk for all”, explains Dr Wendy Yared, Director at the European Cancer Leagues (ECL). “Any delay in putting public health at the heart of EU environment, chemicals and climate policy-making is a lost opportunity to accelerate the fight against cancer.”
“Four in ten cancer cases in the European Union are preventable. But chronic exposure to cancer-causing pollutants in our environment, like endocrine disruptors, pesticides and air pollution, continue to pose serious health risks”, says Genon Jensen, Executive Director at the Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL). “Tackling these pollutants through the implementation of the European Green Deal is a big public health opportunity that cannot be missed.”
The infographic launched today was first published during the 2020 edition of the European Week Against Cancer and has been updated with the latest data on cancer prevention. It furthermore includes new demands for actions European institutions and governments must take to prevent cancer as part of its commitments under the EU Green Deal, including:
- Strengthening EU rules on the Classification, Labelling and Packaging of chemicals (CLP) and REACH to identify and restrict carcinogens and endocrine disruptors faster and more efficiently
- Ensuring EU and national policies set strict targets to reduce the intake of pesticide residues
- Improving air quality by fully aligning EU standards with WHO guidelines
A key international awareness week on the health calendar, the European Week Against Cancer takes place between 25 and 31 May each year. During this week, individuals, organisations and governments are encouraged to increase communication on cancer issues closest to their hearts, as well as organise activities to raise awareness about cancer prevention, access to treatment and support for patients and cancer survivors.
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