Notes based on Video shown in Lecture 1

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Environmental Science
Jovan Stefanovic

Video 1: Everyday Carcinogens There is no one study that constitutes what we in the scientific community would call absolute proof of a connection between cancer and the environment. Instead, what exists, are many well designed, carefully constructed studies that all together tell a consistent story. The first line of evidence comes from cancer registries and this is what measures the incidence of cancer in a population. o Non-tobacco related cancers have been rising in incidence among all age groups from infants up to the elderly, among all ethnicities and among both sexes. And these increases are definitely apparent since the early 70s and go back to about World War II. o Increase of cancers including: Childhood cancer, testicular cancer, non-Hodgkins Lymphoma, brain cancers among elderly and young girls. o We have no life-style factors that we can attribute to the diseases. They are not related to smoking. They dont seem to be related to diet or exercise. We dont know of any hereditary factors that would explain these diseases. So, we need to look at the environment. A second line of evidence comes from computer mapping which takes these same cancer registry data and instead of displaying them over time so that you can look at time trends, it displays their distribution over space. And when you do this the maps that result clearly show that cancer is not a random tragedy. o Increased: breast cancer, bladder and colon cancer o Non-Hodgkins L
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