While the precise causes of most cases of childhood leukemia are not known...exposure to some environmental risk factors can increase the risk of developing childhood leukemia.
(PRWEB) June 23, 2014
Together with the University of California at Berkeley’s Center for Integrative Research on Childhood Leukemia and the Environment (CIRCLE), the Children’s Environmental Health Network (CEHN) has created a new factsheet to educate parents, health care professionals, child care providers, and other audiences on the environmental hazards most strongly associated with risk for childhood leukemia, and on ways to reduce exposure to those hazards. Dr. Amy Kyle of the Berkeley School of Public Health noted, "We are delighted to partner with CEHN to share information about leukemia in children and steps that parents can take to reduce children's exposures to environmental hazards."
Cancer, and specifically leukemia, is the leading cause of disease-related childhood death in the US and the 2nd leading cause of death overall for children aged 5-14. Leukemia is also the most common of childhood cancers, accounting for approximately 25% to 33% of cases. While the precise causes of most cases of childhood leukemia are not known, it has been shown that exposure to some environmental risk factors can increase the risk of developing childhood leukemia.
Children face higher exposure potential to toxicants than adults because they exhibit behaviors such as crawling and putting their hands and other objects into their mouths. They are also uniquely vulnerable to adverse effects from exposure to these toxicants since their bodies and organ systems are still developing. CEHN's Executive Director, Nsedu Obot Witherspoon, stresses the need to increase awareness of children's environmental exposures: "Young children have limited, if any, ability to change their environments, so educating parents and professionals who work with children in various settings about ways to reduce potentially harmful exposures is extremely important."
CEHN is a national, nonpartisan, nonprofit whose mission is to protect the developing child from environmental health hazards and promote a healthier environment. Creating and providing resources such as this factsheet is a critical part of CEHN’s work to translate emerging science into actionable steps that the public can take to protect their health and their children’s health. A free copy of the fact sheet can be downloaded at http://www.cehn.org/cancer/download.