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Archive for the ‘Cancer Awareness Begins Here’ Category

The Dark Side of the Perfectly Manicured American Lawn: Is It Giving You Cancer?  By McKay Jenkins from the book Contamination 

On a beautiful April day, I decided to meet outside with my students at the University of Delaware, where I teach journalism. We sat on the central lawn between two buildings that just happened to bear the names of two gargantuan chemical companies: DuPont and Gore. In the middle of a conversation about agricultural pesticides, a groundskeeper, dressed from feet to neck in a white chemical suit, drove by us on a mower. He wasn’t cutting the grass, though; he was spraying it. And not from one nozzle, but from half a dozen. Up and back he went, describing parallel lines as neat as those in any Iowa farmer’s cornfield. Not a blade escaped the spray. This became a perfect teaching moment.

“Who’s going to ask him what he’s spraying?” I asked my students. One young woman marched over to the groundskeeper. He turned off his engine, they spoke, and she returned.

“He said he’s spraying 2,4-D,” she said. “He said we didn’t need to worry, because he sprayed where we’re sitting at five this morning.”

Which would mean about seven hours earlier. My students chuckled uneasily. He was wearing a full-body chem suit, and they were sitting on the grass in shorts and bare feet?

They’d never heard of 2,4-D, or 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid. But they had heard of Agent Orange, the notorious defoliant used in Vietnam, and 2,4-D, one of the most extensively used herbicides in the world, is a constituent of Agent Orange (it did not cause the bulk of the devastating effects associated with Agent Orange). It was developed during World War II, mostly as a weapon to destroy an enemy’s rice crops. Despite its history, 2,4-D has long been seen as safe for consumer use.

In the 1940s, botanist E. J. Kraus of the University of Chicago fed five and a half grams of pure 2,4-D to a cow every day for three months. The cow was fine, according to Kraus, as was her calf. Kraus said he himself had eaten half a gram of the stuff every day for three weeks and felt great. This was apparently good enough for the rest of the country; within five years, American companies were annually producing 14 million pounds of the stuff. By 1964, the number had jumped to 53 million pounds.

Today, annual sales of 2,4-D have surpassed $300 million worldwide, and it’s found in “weed and feed” products, like Scotts Green Sweep, Ortho Weed B Gon, Salvo, Weedone, and Spectracide. At first, its impact on humans seems mild—skin and eye irritation, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, stiffness in the arms and legs—and many lawn-care companies have dismissed health concerns. Plus, the businesses add that the amount of chemicals in sprays is very diluted.

With 80 million home lawns and over 16,000 golf courses, you get close to 50 million acres of cultivated turf in America.

But the effects are more worrisome when considered over time. Because 2,4-D is designed to mimic a plant’s natural growth hormone, it causes such rapid cell growth that the stems of treated plants tend to become grotesquely twisted and their roots swollen; the leaves turn yellow and die; and the plants starve to death (2,4-D does not have this effect on grass).

Unsurprisingly, 2,4-D also appears to affect human hormones. The National Institute of Health Sciences lists it as a suspected endocrine disrupter, and several studies point to its possible contribution to reproductive-health problems and genetic mutations. Although the EPA says there isn’t enough evidence to classify 2,4-D as a carcinogen, a growing body of research has begun to link it to a variety of cancers.

A 1986 National Cancer Institute (NCI) study found that farmers exposed to 2,4-D for 20 or more days a year had a sixfold higher risk of developing non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Another NCI study showed that dogs were twice as likely to contract lymphoma if their owners used 2,4-D on their lawns.

Like flame retardants, this compound also tends to accumulate inside people’s homes even days after the lawn has been sprayed. One study found 2,4-D in the indoor dust of 63 percent of sampled homes; another showed that levels of the chemical in indoor air and on indoor surfaces increased after lawn applications. After 2,4-D was sprayed, exposure levels for children were ten times higher than before the lawns were treated—an indication of how easily the chemical is tracked inside on the little feet of dogs, cats, and kids.

Thanks to pressure from campus activists, my university replaced 2,4-D with “softer” herbicides and began putting signs on lawns that had just been sprayed. Of course, 2,4-D is one of scores of pesticides in use. According to David Pimentel, professor emeritus of entomology at Cornell University, 110,000 people suffer adverse health effects from pesticides every year, and 10,000 cases of cancer in humans may be attributable to pesticide exposure.

 

The Greening of America

In 1900, 60 percent of Americans lived in rural areas. Today, 83 percent live in cities or suburbs. With that change has come an astonishing shift in the landscape. Over the past half century, Americans have become obsessed with grass. When you add up the country’s 80 million home lawns and over 16,000 golf courses, you get close to 50 million acres of cultivated turf in the United States, an expanse roughly the size of Nebraska. This space is growing by 600 square miles a year.

By 1999, more than two thirds of America’s home lawns had been treated with chemical fertilizers or pesticides—14 million by professional lawn-care companies. A year later, the U.S. General Accounting Office reported that Americans were spraying 67 million pounds of synthetic chemicals on their grass every year, and annual sales of lawn-care pesticides had grown to $700 million.

The landscaping trucks rolling through our suburban neighborhoods seem to represent something more than a communal desire for lush grass. Could it be relief from anxiety? (Why else call a company Lawn Doctor?) For one thing, hiring lawn-care specialists is a public declaration that you have the money not to take care of your yard yourself.

Diligent lawn maintenance and chemical use are also associated with approval and social status, Ohio State researchers reported in 2012: “The main factor influencing a homeowner’s decision to use lawn chemicals is whether neighbors or other people in the neighborhood use them. Homeowners crave acceptance from their neighbors and generally want their lawns to fit in with their surrounding community, so they adopt their neighbors’ practices.”

We also create manicured lawns to play the most chemically dependent of pastimes: golf. By 2004, there were just under 15,000 golf courses in the United States—a patchwork of chemically treated turf the size of Rhode Island and Delaware combined.

Even grass seed comes coated with chemicals. A close look at a bag of Scotts grass seed reveals it has been treated with Apron XL fungicide, whose active ingredient is Metalaxyl-M, or methyl N-(methoxyacetyl)-N-(2,6-xylyl)-D-alaninate. The bag requests that the product be stored away from foodstuffs, kept out of the reach of children, and not be applied near water, storm drains, or drainage ditches. (A Scotts spokesperson says that its products are designed to be safe when used as directed.)

As the use of chemicals has become widespread, lawn companies have found an unexpected source of profits. Herbicides like 2,4-D preserve grass but kill weeds like clover. Clover, however, pulls nitrogen out of the air and fixes it in the soil. Without clover, soil becomes nitrogen poor and fails to support plant life. So chemical companies now replace the depleted nitrogen, which homeowners used to get for free from clover, with synthetic nitrogen, for which they have to pay.

In America’s watersheds, nitrogen runoff is considered among the worst problems for water quality. Since synthetic fertilizers are water soluble, a good amount runs off your lawn after a rain, where it mixes with runoff from other homes and ends up feeding the plants in bodies of water. Doused with chemicals, algae grow and grow, creating “algae blooms” that—as they decay and die—suck most of the oxygen out of rivers, lakes, and bays and lead to massive “dead zones,” in which neither fish nor plants can live.

In 2007, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation published a report card on the bay’s health that showed just how much trouble chemicals can pose. The bay received an F for nitrogen pollution, a D-minus for phosphorous, an F for water quality, an F for dissolved oxygen, and a D for toxics. On a scale of 100 (with 100 being the best), the bay’s health was rated at 28.

In California, scientists are discovering that algae blooms off the coast not only remove oxygen; they also release a toxin, domoic acid. It enters the food chain when fish eat algae, then moves into the sea lions that consume the fish. If a sea lion is pregnant, her fetus can be contaminated, and years later, that mammal may develop epilepsy.

 

One Man’s Chemical Conversion

Paul Tukey knows about pesticides; the man who invented 2,4-D was a distant cousin. When Tukey was a kid in the late 1960s, his grandfather hired a biplane to spray his 300 acres of fields in Maine a couple of times a year. The fields were mostly planted with cattle feed, not with crops intended for human consumption. For Tukey, spraying day was a thrill.

“My grandfather would go out in the field, dressed in his wool underwear and thick heavy pants, and wave the biplane over his field,” Tukey recalled. “They’d drop this white powder, and he’d get back in the truck looking like Frosty the Snowman. Then we’d drive to the next field, and he’d do it again. My grandfather was getting doused 20 times a day, but he would never let me get out of the truck. I always wondered why I couldn’t go out and get dusted.”

Tukey’s grandfather died of a brain tumor at 60.

Tukey also followed his family’s agricultural tradition but charted his own course. For years, he operated one of southern Maine’s largest landscaping services and considered his job ideal. He worked outside in shorts and sandals. He never bothered with putting on protective gear.

In 1993, he started getting nosebleeds. His vision became blurry. But with business booming, Tukey was too busy to worry. One of his jobs was tending the grounds of a hospital where he hired university students for the work. One day, their professor, an eminent horticulturist named Rick Churchill, came by to say hello to his students. Tukey went out to greet him.

Churchill’s eyes were focused on the weeds, which Tukey’s crew had doused with herbicides and which were curling up and turning brown.

Churchill said, “I asked him how anyone in good conscience could be applying pesticides on the grounds of a hospital where there were patients being treated for cancers that could be linked to their exposure to pesticides. I asked whether he knew anything about the toxicity ratings of what he was applying and how dangerous many of these compounds were to an individual compromised by illness.”

The words cut deeply. “It was devastating,” Tukey told me. “In Maine, Rick Churchill is an icon.”

“You have broken bags of poison,” Tukey told the manager. “They all say, ‘Keep out of reach of children’!”

Tukey did some reading, and what he found was troubling. Pediatric cancers in Los Angeles had been linked to parental exposure to pesticides during pregnancy. In Denver, kids whose yards were treated with pesticides were found to be four times more likely to have soft-tissue cancers than kids whose yards were not. Elsewhere, links had been found between brain tumors in children and the use of weed killers, pest strips, and flea collars.

Tukey also learned that exposure to lawn chemicals was particularly alarming for people who spread them for a living. One study showed a threefold increase in lung cancer among lawn-care workers who used 2,4-D; another found a higher rate of birth defects among the children of chemical appliers. When he finally went to the doctor for his rashes and deteriorating eyesight, he learned that he had developed multiple chemical sensitivity. And his son—conceived in 1992, during the height of Tukey’s use of synthetic chemicals—was diagnosed with one of the worst cases of ADHD his physician had ever seen. (Several recent scientific reports suggest that toxic chemicals may play a role in ADHD.)

“All the evidence indicates that you don’t want pregnant women around these products, but I was walking into the house every single night with my legs coated with pesticides from the knees down,” he said. “Even when my son was a year or two old, … [he] would greet me at the door at night by grabbing me around the legs. He was getting pesticides on his hands and probably his face too.”

Tukey’s Breaking Point

In the midst of his research, Tukey was driving one day when he saw a sign: A store was having a big sale on Scotts Turf Builder. Tukey made a beeline. He was going to buy the store’s entire stock. Once inside, he walked to the lawn-care section. Tukey noticed a woman standing by the lawn chemicals. At her feet, a girl was making sand castles from a broken bag of pesticides. Suddenly, something in him burst—the DDT squirting over his grandfather’s fields, the chemicals that he’d sprayed outside the hospital, and now a child in a pile of pesticides.

Tukey told me, “I said, ‘Ma’am, you really shouldn’t let your child play with that. It’s not safe.’ I’m fundamentally shy, but this just came out of me.”

The store wouldn’t sell the stuff if it wasn’t safe, she told Tukey. She took her child and walked away. A manager came up and asked him if there was a problem. Tukey said there was.

“You have broken bags of poison on the floor,” Tukey said to the manager. “All those bags say, ‘Keep out of reach of children’!”

Those labels are there because of government formality, the manager said. The stuff isn’t dangerous. The store wouldn’t carry it if it was.

“That really was the stake in the heart of my chemical career,” Tukey said. “By then, I’d already made myself sick. I’d already been questioned by Rick Churchill. When I saw that girl making sand castles out of the pesticides, [there] was just a sudden gut-level reaction I couldn’t have anticipated. I was shaking when I left the store.”

Tukey issued a decree to his employees: His business was going organic. It was time to start weaning his company—and customers—off synthetic chemicals. Most clients were fine with his decision, just as long as it didn’t cost any more and as long as their lawns continued to look the same.

More than 170 municipalities in Canada have banned lawn pesticides, especially on public spaces like school yards and sports fields. Denmark, Norway, and Sweden have banned 2,4-D. In 2009, the European Parliament passed laws banning 22 pesticides that can cause cancer or disrupt human hormones or reproduction.

 

How to Bring Back Butterflies

Certainly, switching to a less toxic lawn company can reduce your family’s—and neighbors’—exposure to synthetic chemicals. It would also reduce the pollutants you contribute to the watershed. But there is another option, one that gets into the more inspiring realm of restoration. There is a way to think of your yard as more than a burden that needs to be mowed and weeded. There is a way to think of your yard as transformational, even magical. Doug Tallamy can show you how.

When Tallamy, former chair of the entomology department at the University of Delaware, walks around his yard, he sees things most of us would not. He can look at a black cherry tree and spot the larvae of 13 tiger swallowtail butterflies. He has planted scores of trees: sweet gums, tulips, white oaks, river birches, and sugar maples. But he’s really interested in bugs and birds—and boosting their numbers.

Suburban development has been devastating to avian populations. Most of the birds we see in our yards are probably house sparrows and starlings, invasive species from Europe. If you study the population numbers for native birds, you’ll find the wood thrush is down 48 percent; the bobwhite, 80 percent; bobolinks, 90 percent. An estimated 72 million birds are killed each year in America by direct exposure to pesticides, a number that does not include baby birds that perish because a parent died from pesticides or birds poisoned by eating contaminated insects or worms. The actual number of birds killed might be closer to 150 million.

In mid-Atlantic gardening circles, Tallamy is a bit of a prophet, his message freighted with both gloom and promise. It is the promise of ecological renewal that he most wants people to understand. His vision is based on three ideas: If you want more birds, you need more native insects; if you want more native insects, you need more native plants; and if you want more native plants, you need to get rid of—or shrink—your lawn.

Tallamy says that when we wake up in the morning to birdsong, it’s often being made by hungry migratory birds that may have just flown 300 miles. What is there to eat? Too frequently, ornamental trees that bear none of the insects the birds need—and chemically treated grass. Tallamy’s prescription: Put in native plants that will make your yard a haven for caterpillars, butterflies, and birds. In the mid-Atlantic region, this can mean swamp milkweed, butterfly weed, buttonbush, joe-pye weed, and a rudbeckia species like black-eyed Susans. At the University of Delaware, Tallamy and a team are restoring native species to the campus.

And me? I ripped up 20 percent of my lawn and planted two flower gardens, two sets of flowering shrubs, and seven vegetable beds. Now my daughter helps me pick eggplants, tomatillos, okra, and Swiss chard. My son can identify not only monarchs and tiger swallowtails but also which plants they like to eat. How? Because last year the butterflies were not here, and this year they are. We replaced the grass, which monarch caterpillars can’t eat, with native flora they can consume. It’s as simple as that. Milkweed and joe-pye weed were born to grow here. All you have to do is plant them and wait for the butterflies.

 

Wise Moves for a Lush Lawn

1. Get tested. “Spending money on fertilizer without a soil test is just guessing,” says Paul Tukey. Good soil is key to a great lawn, and a soil test can tell you what’s in the dirt and what’s missing. For a test, call your county extension office (a national network of agriculture experts).

2. Plant clover with your grass. Clover competes with weeds and fixes nitrogen in the soil. John Bochert, a lawn and garden specialist in York, Maine, recommends a seed mix of white clover, perennial rye (it germinates quickly), fescue, and bluegrass.

3. Mow high, and leave the clippings. Taller grass provides more leaf for photosynthesis, develops deeper roots, and resists weeds. The clippings act as fertilizer. “Lawns mowed at four inches are the most weed-free,” Tukey says. “If you did only one thing, adjusting your mower height would be it.”

4. Cut back on watering. Frequent watering leads to shallow roots, so “water once a week if at all,” says Tukey

5. Apply compost. “Weeds need light to grow,” Tukey says. “Spreading compost on a lawn in the spring prevents weed seeds from germinating.”

6. Listen to weeds … “Weeds are nothing if not messengers,” says Tukey. “Dandelions are telling you the ground needs more calcium. Plantains are telling you the ground is too compact and needs aerating.”

7. … and to insects. Beneficial nematodes, which are microscopic worms, eat some 200 species of insects, including grubs that become Japanese beetles; you can buy them from farm and garden stores. Mix them in water, and spray them on your lawn.

 

 

 

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New battlefront for petrochemical industry: benzene and childhood leukemia by Kristen Lombardi for The Center For Public Integrity

ATHENS, Georgia — It was December 29, 1998, six years after Jill McElheney and her family had moved next to a cluster of 12 petroleum storage tanks. Jill was escorting her son Jarrett, then 4, to the doctor again. He had spent the day slumped in a stroller, looking so pale and fatigued that a stranger stopped her to ask if he was all right.

It was an encounter Jill couldn’t shake. For the previous three months, she had noticed her once-energetic preschooler deteriorating. He complained of pain in his knee, which grew excruciating. It migrated to his shoulder and then his leg. His shins swelled, as did his temples. At night, Jarrett awoke drenched in sweat, screaming from spasms. Jill took him to a pediatrician and an infectious-disease specialist. A rheumatologist diagnosed him with anemia.

Now, as Jarrett lay listless, Jill found herself back at the pediatrician’s office. Tests confirmed a blood count so low that she was instructed to get him to an emergency room immediately. Within hours she was at a hospital in Atlanta, some 65 miles from her home in Athens, watching nurses rush in and out of Jarrett’s room. Doctors identified a common form of childhood leukemia. “I heard the words,” Jill recalled, “and I only knew the bald heads and the sadness.”

In the waiting room, family members heard more unsettling news: A neighbor’s child also had developed leukemia.

Days later, Jarrett’s doctor penned a letter to federal environmental regulators about the two cancer patients, highlighting their “close proximity” to Southeast Terminals, a group of 10,000-gallon tanks containing gasoline, diesel and fuel oil.

“Could you please investigate,” the doctor wrote, “whether high levels of chemicals could have contaminated the water, possibly contributing … to the development of leukemia?”

Only then did the McElheneys consider the possibility that living beside one of the nation’s 1,500 bulk-oil terminals — known sources of cancer-causing benzene — had triggered their son’s leukemia.

“It was one of those light-bulb moments for us,” said Jeff McElheney, Jarrett’s father. “You never get over it.”

New battlefront for industry

Jarrett McElheney does not represent the standard benzene plaintiff. He’s not among the hundreds of thousands of people who toil in American oil refineries or other workplaces contaminated with the chemical and run the risk of developing leukemia. In the rancorous world of toxic-tort litigation, he stands virtually alone. A lawsuit filed by his parents in 2011 against Southeast Terminals owners BP and TransMontaigne is among a relatively few alleging leukemia caused by environmental benzene exposure. Among these, the McElheney case is rarer still: Most have hinged on adult leukemia.

Yet the case may signal an emerging quandary for the petrochemical industry, according to tens of thousands of pages of previously secret documents that have come to light in lawsuits filed against benzene manufacturers and suppliers on behalf of those who suffered from leukemia and other blood diseases, including Jarrett McElheney.

Internal memorandums, emails, letters and meeting minutes obtained by the Center for Public Integrity over the past year suggest that BP and four other major petrochemical companies, coordinated by their trade association, the American Petroleum Institute, spent at least $36 million on research “designed to protect member company interests,” as one 2000 API summary put it. Many of the documents chronicle a systematic attempt by the petrochemical industry to influence the science linking benzene to cancer. Others attest to the industry’s longstanding interest in topics such as childhood leukemia.

“A number of publications in the last few years have attempted to link increased risks of childhood leukemia with proximity to both petroleum facilities and local traffic density,” another 2000 API memo warns. “Although these publications have had little impact to date, the emphasis on ‘Children’s Health’ may cause these concerns to resurface.”

“This is indeed a battlefront for the oil industry,” said Peter Infante, a former director of the office that reviews health standards at the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, who has studied benzene for 40 years and now testifies for plaintiffs in benzene litigation. He has worked on a handful of cases involving children sickened by leukemia.

“It’s in the industry’s economic interests to refuse to acknowledge the relationship between benzene and childhood leukemia,” Infante said.

In May, in a sign of the chemical’s continuing threat, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimated that 5 million Americans — excluding workers — face heightened cancer risks from benzene and 68 other carcinogens spewed into the air by the nation’s 149 oil refineries. The EPA has proposed a rule that would require refinery operators to monitor for benzene, in particular, along their fence lines.

Aimed at curbing “fugitive” emissions from equipment leaks and similar releases, the proposal would set a fence line limit for benzene of 3 parts per billion — a fraction of the 10 ppb the agency recommends as the maximum chronic exposure level for the chemical.

Industry groups are pushing back. In written comments, the API’s Matthew Todd called the proposal “a major and significant Agency action [that] will dramatically increase the paperwork and recordkeeping burden on refineries. It includes several precedent-setting proposals, will cost our industry hundreds of millions of dollars per year, increase safety risk [and] may impact fuels production and cost …. Production outages will likely occur.”

The EPA also heard from the people the rule is designed to protect. “We live near a refinery, and as a result my son can’t breathe,” a woman from Fontana, California, wrote in Spanish. “My cousin had respiratory problems while living near a refinery for more than 10 years,” a woman from Houston wrote, also in Spanish. “Unfortunately, he died 2 years ago from bone cancer. We believe this was a result of the ambient air where he lived.”

In June, California officials lowered the long-term exposure level for benzene from 20 ppb to 1 ppb — among the lowest in the country — setting the stage for further emissions cuts at refineries and bulk-oil terminals in that state. Officials say such regulatory actions aim to protect children, who are more susceptible to benzene’s toxic effects than adults because their cells aren’t as developed. California is considering classifying benzene not just as a human carcinogen, but as a “toxic air contaminant which may disproportionately impact children.”

“The fact that benzene impacts the blood-forming organs when you’re a developing child is a big deal,” said Melanie Marty of the state’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment.

Hidden menace

ill McElheney agrees. A warm, garrulous mother of five who has schooled herself in the health effects of pollution, she has spent the past 16 years seeking the cause of her son’s leukemia. She has filed open-records requests and contacted state and federal agencies, piecing together a history of gasoline spills and diesel-fuel leaks at Southeast Terminals. She can cite endless details about lingering benzene contamination on terminal property — extensively catalogued in state enforcement files — located “a stone’s throw away” from the trailer park where her family lived for seven years.

Jeff, Jarrett and Jill McElheney stand in the former site of the Oakwood Mobile Home Park, where the family was living when Jarrett was diagnosed with a form of childhood leukemia. Phil Skinner for the Center for Public Integrity
Now vacant and overgrown with brush, the former site of the Oakwood Mobile Home Park lies across a residential street from Southeast Terminals, its tanks rising above a thicket of pines and oaks. All day, every day, trucks drive in and out of the facility’s gates, filling tankers with gasoline and other products.

What can’t be seen is the plume of benzene that has worked its way into the groundwater beneath the tanks. “It’s not like Cancer Alley, with smokestacks belching crap in your face,” Jill said. “It’s hidden — literally.”

When she and Jeff moved to Oakwood in 1992, they saw the 14-trailer community as something of an oasis — quiet, tight-knit. Nestled under shady trees, near churches and schools, it seemed like the perfect location. Even the park’s water supply, drawn from an unpermitted well dating back decades, appeared idyllic: Its pump house served as a beacon on park property, visible for all to see — including, court depositions later confirmed, terminal employees.

“We saw Oakwood as an opportunity,” recalled Jeff, a mustachioed, genial man who operates a roofing company and managed the park for his father, its previous owner.

Jarrett McElheney, center, with 3 of his 4 siblings. Courtesy of the McElheney family
Jarrett arrived two years later and, by his fourth birthday, had grown into an adventurous boy with an abiding love of water. His parents remember him splashing in the tub for hours. Often, he swam in an inflatable pool in their yard, dressed in what he called his “little blue [wet] suit.” He slurped on Kool Aid and popsicles made from well water whose purity his parents never questioned — until his 1998 diagnosis of acute lymphocytic leukemia, or ALL, a form of the blood cancer found overwhelmingly in children.

Within days of hearing the news, Jarrett’s parents tested their water. Samples from the Oakwood well revealed a brew of such chemicals as carbon tetrachloride and 1,2-dichloroethane, sparking a state investigation. The Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) found benzene in the water of Oakwood’s well at levels up to 13 ppb — 26 times higher than the federal safety standard. In response, the agency shuttered the well and connected residents to public water.

Over the next year, state geologists worked to identify the contamination’s source. They dug monitoring wells and collected soil samples. Their initial investigation linked at least one pollutant in the park well — not benzene — to nearby abandoned grain silos. Geologists eventually eyed Southeast Terminals as a likely source of the benzene contamination, records show.

“The terminals are certainly suspects for the benzene detected in the [Oakwood] well,” one posited in a 2000 email. “The probable path is deep ground water.”

Another noted the presence of “a possible plume (with benzene) moving by Oakwood … and within a few hundred feet of the [park]’s former well, [thus] too close for comfort for a public-water supply well.”

Two years later, EPD investigators were still documenting high levels of benzene, ranging from 8,000 to 12,000 ppb, on terminal property — as well as the likelihood that, one 2002 EPD memorandum states, “the benzene contamination found in the trailer park well came from the Southeast Terminals.”

Ultimately, though, the state’s two-year, nearly $200,000 investigation yielded few answers. By 2008, groundwater monitoring results revealed only trace amounts of benzene at Oakwood. Today, EPD officials say they lack definitive proof tying the well’s benzene pollution to any source.

For Jill McElheney, the outcome of the inquiry was anything but satisfying. “It just seems to me that when you’ve got benzene in a well and a major source of it next door, you’d make the connection,” she said.

In fact, Jill already had been seeking answers elsewhere. In 2000, she turned to the federal Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, or ATSDR, petitioning it for a public health assessment. Instead, the agency launched a less-thorough public health consultation, meant to ascertain the risk to human health posed by the contaminated well water at Oakwood.

The results brought little clarity. In a 2001 report, the ATSDR determined that “the groundwater contaminant plume” initially sampled in the Oakwood well “is a public health hazard.” At the same time, it singled out a pollutant other than benzene as the threat. For benzene, the agency found that “the likelihood someone would get cancer as a result of their exposure is very low.”

In a 2000 draft filed with the state, however, the ATSDR concluded that the highest concentrations of benzene in the water were of concern. “This risk DOES exceed an acceptable risk level,” the draft states, “and may result in an elevated risk of cancer for exposed individuals.”

An ASTDR spokeswoman did not respond to requests for comment.

Mounting evidence on benzene and leukemia

The science linking benzene to cancer — particularly leukemia, in all its forms — has preoccupied the petrochemical industry for more than half a century. As far back as 1948, the API’s toxicological profile of the chemical discussed “reasonably well documented instances of the development of leukemia as a result of chronic benzene exposure,” cautioning that “the only absolutely safe concentration … is zero.”

Later, as scientific evidence of benzene’s hazards accumulated and regulatory limits on workplace and environmental levels tightened, the industry took a different stance. By 1990, the API and member companies such as BP, Chevron, Mobil and Shell had launched a research program meant to keep further restrictions at bay — or, minutes from an API meeting in 1992 state, research “that will be most useful in improving risk assessment and influencing regulation.”

Within months, the API task force overseeing the program was enumerating “developing issues.” Topping its list, according to minutes from a meeting in 1993, was this notation: “link to childhood leukemia?”

That possible link appeared on the industry’s radar again in 2000, documents show. At the time, API representatives were drumming up financial support for an unparalleled study of workers exposed to benzene in Shanghai, China, delivering what amounted to a sales pitch for the project. They touted what one 2000 API overview described as its “tremendous economic benefit to the petroleum industry” — helping to combat “onerous regulations” and “litigation costs due to perceptions about the risks of even very low exposures to benzene.” Childhood leukemia was mentioned explicitly.

Five years later, industry representatives grew concerned enough to bankroll their own research. Documents show the API task force approved funding for what minutes of one meeting in 2005 dubbed a “benzene regulatory response,” comprising a “childhood leukemia review” and “child-to-adult sensitivity to benzene” analysis, for a total of $30,000.

By then, the scientific evidence on benzene and leukemia in adults was well-established. Throughout the 1960s and early 1970s, studies of Italian shoe and leather workers indicated a relationship between the chemical and the cancer. Then, in 1977, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, launched a seminal study of two Goodyear plants in Ohio that made Pliofilm, a thin rubber wrap. The research quantified for the first time the leukemia risk for workers exposed to benzene, prompting OSHA to work on a stricter standard that took effect in 1987.

In years since, the science has solidified. Recent research has shown lower and lower levels of the chemical — less than the OSHA limit of 1 part per million — can cause leukemia as well as other blood and bone marrow disorders.

By contrast, experts say, the research on benzene and childhood leukemia isn’t as conclusive. Multiple studies have indicated that children whose mothers were exposed to benzene-containing solvents during pregnancy experience elevated risks of developing the disease. Others have shown that children living near gas stations or highways — breathing in benzene in the air — face heightened risks. One 2008 study reported a significant spike in the rate of the disease in Houston neighborhoods with the highest benzene emissions.

Taken together, the nearly four dozen publications on the topic strongly suggest the carcinogen can cause leukemia as much in children as adults, experts say.

“Children aren’t another species,” said Infante, the former OSHA official who has reviewed the scientific literature for medical associations and governmental agencies. “If benzene causes leukemia in adults, why wouldn’t it cause leukemia in children?”

The scientist behind the API-commissioned analysis would likely disagree. In 2009, David Pyatt, a Colorado toxicologist with long-standing ties to the petrochemical industry, published a journal article about his review, in which he reported examining 236 studies on the relationship between benzene and childhood leukemia. Many of the studies suggesting a link “suffer from the same limitations,” he concluded, such as poorly quantified exposure estimates.

“At this point,” Pyatt wrote, “there is insufficient epidemiologic support for an association or causal connection between environmental benzene exposure … and the development of childhood [leukemia].”

Some say the review reflects a common industry tactic: Compile studies on a subject, and then shed doubt on each one by claiming the data aren’t good enough.

Pyatt did not respond to repeated emails and phone calls from the Center seeking comment; nor did the API.

In depositions, Pyatt acknowledged that he has never testified for a plaintiff in a benzene exposure case. He has worked as a consultant and defense expert for such petrochemical giants as BP, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil and Shell, he has said; the API has financed additional work of his on benzene, as has the American Chemistry Council, the chemical industry’s main lobby.

In a deposition taken last year, Pyatt said he wouldn’t discount benzene’s link to childhood leukemia — at least, not to acute myeloid leukemia, or AML, a type rarely found in children.

“There is no reason to think that [children] are going to be protected,” he testified. “So I would certainly think that a child can develop AML if they are exposed to enough benzene.”

In other depositions, Pyatt has conceded no link between benzene and ALL, the type that attacked Jarrett McElheney.

‘They have to stop this practice’

For the McElheneys, the extent of the benzene contamination from Southeast Terminals only came to light years after Jarrett’s chemotherapy regimen had beaten back his leukemia. Yet state and federal enforcement records pinpoint on-site releases of the chemical in 1991, a year before the family moved to the area. At the time, managers of the terminal — jointly owned and operated by BP and Unocal Corp. — discovered a leak of diesel fuel seeping through soil where an underground pipeline was buried.

Terminal employees removed 40 cubic yards of “petroleum contaminated soils,” according to a report filed by BP with the state, and recorded benzene on site at levels as high as 81 ppb. Groundwater samples showed even higher concentrations: 12,000 ppb.

State regulators found such pollution “exceeds our ‘trigger’ levels,” a 1991 letter to the company states, and requested further action.

Under Georgia law, the company was required to develop what the EPD calls a “corrective action plan,” which, among other things, would have delineated the terminal’s benzene plume, as well as identified nearby public water wells.

In a 1991 reply, BP promised the EPD it would file its plan in four months.

Nine years later — after the McElheneys had tested their well water and the EPD had issued a 2000 citation against BP for failing to submit a “timely” corrective action plan — the company finally carried out that requirement, records show.

BP, in charge of the terminal’s daily operations, declined to comment for this article. At different times, Unocal, Louis Dreyfus Energy and TransMontaigne have been BP’s partners at the site. TransMontaigne, its current partner, did not respond to repeated emails and phone calls. TransMontaigne purchased Louis Dreyfus Energy in 1998. Chevron, which merged with Unocal in 2005, declined to comment.

Today, state regulators attribute their own delay in cracking down on the diesel leak to an internal debate over which EPD division had authority over the terminal’s benzene contamination — its underground storage tank program, which has purview over the pipeline; or, its hazardous waste branch. For years, compliance officers in that branch, along with their counterparts at the EPA, had been monitoring the facility’s practice of dumping benzene-laced wastewater on site — a practice later confirmed by terminal employees in court depositions.

In 1990, the EPA issued new rules classifying benzene as hazardous waste and requiring bulk-oil terminals to have permits for discharging the “bottoms water” in petroleum tanks. This wastewater can become tainted by the chemical when mixed with gasoline. Rather than treat the water, Southeast Terminals funneled it through an “oil/water separator” to skim off fuel, and then dumped it into a ditch on the ground.

Company records at the time show that terminal supervisors admitted they drained the wastewater “direct into streams” or “a dike area which eventually drains offsite into a stream.”

“I remember thinking, ‘They have to stop this practice,’” said John Williams, an EPD environmental specialist who inspected the terminal in 1993 and documented the dumping.

Three months later, the EPD issued a notice of violation against Southeast Terminals, forcing supervisors to test the bottoms water. Regulators found benzene at levels four times greater than the legal limit of 0.5 ppb, prompting the EPA to take action.

“We saw an issue there,” said Darryl Hines, of the EPA’s regional office in Atlanta, explaining why officials initiated a 1997 civil enforcement action against the facility.

In its complaint, the EPA accused BP and then-partner Louis Dreyfus Energy of violating federal hazardous-waste law — disposing waste without a permit, and failing to categorize it as hazardous. The agency ordered the companies to shut down the oil/water separator, and implement a plan addressing “any groundwater contamination.”

By the time Jarrett developed leukemia a year later, the EPA had negotiated a settlement with the companies and laid out a series of requirements for cleaning up the benzene. Without admitting fault, BP and Louis Dreyfus agreed to spend at least $100,000 to remove leaking underground pipelines and install above-ground infrastructure. They also paid a penalty of $15,000.

When BP finally filed its long-delayed action plan, it revealed the presence of what EPD project officer Calvin Jones described as a “dissolved hydrocarbon” plume containing benzene — “a bigger problem than we had thought.” The chemical, concentrated at 500 ppb and counting, had spread beyond the immediate spill areas. Of greater concern to regulators, the plan identified “free product” in groundwater.

“There was actually gasoline floating on the water,” explained Jones, of the EPD’s underground storage tank program, who oversaw the facility’s protracted cleanup. Referring to gasoline’s ability to dissolve in water, he said, “You can’t get higher concentrations of benzene … than free product.”

Despite a decade-long cleanup — 35.2 million gallons of contaminated groundwater and 1,009 pounds of benzene were collected — the chemical still saturates much of the nearly 19-acre Southeast Terminals site, records show. Last year, the EPD issued a letter declaring “no further action required,” which released the companies from remediation. At the time, the state-sanctioned benzene count remained at 1,440 ppb.

Over the years, enforcement records show, company consultants and regulators alike have tried to trace the path of the wastewater at the terminal. One company analysis details a trail beginning at the property line and then spilling into adjacent woods before hitting a tributary. Another document, produced by the EPA, depicts the discharge as moving offsite through woods and into a resident’s backyard.

“It’s where the drainage flows,” said Jeffrey Pallas, deputy director of the agency’s hazardous waste division in Atlanta, who oversaw the case against BP and Louis Dreyfus, explaining that the document, complete with photographs, was only intended to verify the hazardous-waste law violations.

“We cannot substantiate from the documentation we have that the benzene left the site,” he said.

Seeking accountability

The McElheneys have seen the evidence they need to connect Southeast Terminals to the benzene in the Oakwood well — and Jarrett’s suffering. They believe all the state and federal enforcement actions have yielded few consequences for the facility’s owners. If Jarrett hadn’t gotten sick, they say, they might never have known about the benzene hazard. “The companies would have paid off their small fines,” Jill said, “and nobody would have been the wiser.”

Seeking some accountability, the family filed a lawsuit three years ago against BP, TransMontaigne and seven other previous owners, alleging that the “illegal discharge and release of toxic chemicals” at Southeast Terminals contaminated the surrounding environment and caused Jarrett to develop leukemia.

In court filings, the companies denied the allegations and dismissed any link between benzene and childhood leukemia. Last year, defense lawyers invoked a familiar tactic: They cited the Pyatt review to support their claims that the chemical couldn’t have caused Jarrett’s illness. The family recently has agreed on a settlement in principle and is working toward resolving the litigation.

“I thought, ‘This is par for the course,’” said Jill, who has read some of the industry documents uncovered by the lawsuit. “The oil industry has fought regulations and lawsuits for workers and adults. Now they’re going to do it with children.”

Jarrett is now a slight, reserved 20-year-old in remission. He remembers his bout with leukemia through a child’s eyes — the “really cool” ambulance rides, the nurses with coloring books, swinging golf clubs in hospital hallways. “I remember being stuck over and over again by needles” while getting a bone-marrow aspiration or a chest catheter or countless blood draws, he said. “But it wasn’t until much later I realized what happened to me didn’t happen to other kids.”

Today, he has had to grapple with cancer’s lasting effects — the feebleness, and the fatigue — as well as its lingering fears. As a leukemia survivor, he is at risk for developing osteoporosis, cataracts, or even another cancer. Sitting in an Olive Garden in Athens, sandwiched between his parents, Jarrett came across as exceedingly shy, uncomfortable in the limelight. Often, his parents did the speaking for him.

Moments earlier, Jill had explained how leukemia had changed her son, taken an emotional toll.

“He had a really loud voice as a toddler but that voice has mellowed,” she said. “I’ll take that voice over anything.”

Maryam Jameel contributed to this story.

Click on the link below to access the original article at the Center for Public Integrity

http://www.publicintegrity.org/2014/12/08/16356/new-battlefront-petrochemical-industry-benzene-and-childhood-leukemia

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Scientists discover DNA body clock

Newly discovered mechanism could help researchers understand ageing process and lead to ways of slowing it down.

by Ian Sample, science correspondent

A US scientist has discovered an internal body clock based on DNA that measures the biological age of our tissues and organs.

The clock shows that while many healthy tissues age at the same rate as the body as a whole, some of them age much faster or slower. The age of diseased organs varied hugely, with some many tens of years “older” than healthy tissue in the same person, according to the clock.

Researchers say that unravelling the mechanisms behind the clock will help them understand the ageing process and hopefully lead to drugs and other interventions that slow it down.

Therapies that counteract natural ageing are attracting huge interest from scientists because they target the single most important risk factor for scores of incurable diseases that strike in old age.

“Ultimately, it would be very exciting to develop therapy interventions to reset the clock and hopefully keep us young,” said Steve Horvath, professor of genetics and biostatistics at the University of California in Los Angeles.

Horvath looked at the DNA of nearly 8,000 samples of 51 different healthy and cancerous cells and tissues. Specifically, he looked at how methylation, a natural process that chemically modifies DNA, varied with age.

Horvath found that the methylation of 353 DNA markers varied consistently with age and could be used as a biological clock. The clock ticked fastest in the years up to around age 20, then slowed down to a steadier rate. Whether the DNA changes cause ageing or are caused by ageing is an unknown that scientists are now keen to work out.

“Does this relate to something that keeps track of age, or is a consequence of age? I really don’t know,” Horvath told the Guardian. “The development of grey hair is a marker of ageing, but nobody would say it causes ageing,” he said.

The clock has already revealed some intriguing results. Tests on healthy heart tissue showed that its biological age – how worn out it appears to be – was around nine years younger than expected. Female breast tissue aged faster than the rest of the body, on average appearing two years older.

Diseased tissues also aged at different rates, with cancers speeding up the clock by an average of 36 years. Some brain cancer tissues taken from children had a biological age of more than 80 years.

“Female breast tissue, even healthy tissue, seems to be older than other tissues of the human body. That’s interesting in the light that breast cancer is the most common cancer in women. Also, age is one of the primary risk factors of cancer, so these types of results could explain why cancer of the breast is so common,” Horvath said.

Healthy tissue surrounding a breast tumour was on average 12 years older than the rest of the woman’s body, the scientist’s tests revealed.

Writing in the journal Genome Biology, Horvath showed that the biological clock was reset to zero when cells plucked from an adult were reprogrammed back to a stem-cell-like state. The process for converting adult cells into stem cells, which can grow into any tissue in the body, won the Nobel prize in 2012 for Sir John Gurdon at Cambridge University and Shinya Yamanaka at Kyoto University.

“It provides a proof of concept that one can reset the clock,” said Horvath. The scientist now wants to run tests to see how neurodegenerative and infectious diseases affect, or are affected by, the biological clock.

“These data could prove valuable in furthering our knowledge of the biological changes that are linked to the ageing process,” said Veryan Codd, who works on the effects of biological ageing in cardiovascular disease at Leicester University. “It will be important to determine whether the accelerated ageing, as described here, is associated with other age-related diseases and if it is a causal factor in, or a consequence of, disease development.

“As more data becomes available, it will also be interesting to see whether a similar approach could identify tissue-specific ageing signatures, which could also prove important in disease mechanisms,” she added.

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NATIONAL CANCER INSTITUTE and AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY: Criminal Indifference to Cancer Prevention and Conflicts of Interest by Samuel S Epstein, M.D.

The Public Remains Uninformed of Escalating Incidence if Childhood Cancer and Its Avoidable Causes.

From 1975 to 2000, the incidence of childhood cancer has escalated to alarming proportions, warned the Cancer Prevention Coalition’s in its May 2003 report, “The Stop Cancer Before It Starts Campaign.” Childhood cancers have increased by 32% overall to 9,000 annually: acute lymphocytic leukemia, 57%; brain cancer, 50%; kidney cancer, 48%; and bone cancer, 29%. Childhood cancer is their number one killer, with 1,500 deaths annually, second only to accidents.

The NCI and the American Cancer Society (ACS) have failed to inform the public of the increasing incidence of childhood cancer, Furthermore, the NCI claims that “the causes of childhood cancers are largely unknown.” This is contrary to substantial scientific evidence on their avoidable causes, the wide range of carcinogens to which fetuses, infants, and children are exposed and their much greater vulnerability than adults. Additionally, most carcinogens cause other toxic effects hormonal or endocrine disruptive, neurological, and immunological.

Avoidable carcinogenic exposures of the fetus, infants, and children fall into three categories:

1. Environmental and Occupational

– Pesticides:contaminants in drinking water; urban spraying; uses in schools, including wood playground sets treated with chromated copper arsenate.
– Petrochemical and other industrial pollutants: atmospheric emissions; contaminants in drinking water. – Combustion pollutants: power plants; incinerator stacks; diesel exhaust.
– Radioactive pollutants: atmospheric emissions from nuclear energy plants; contaminants in drinking water.
– Occupational carcinogens: parental exposures during pregnancy.

2. Domestic/Household

– Pesticides: uses in the home, lawn, and pet flea collars; contaminants in nonorganic food.
– Ingredients and contaminants in lotions and shampoos.
– Residence near: hazardous waste sites; chemical and power plant municipal incinerators.

3. Medical

– Radiation: diagnostic X-rays in late pregnancy; high dose radiation CAT scans of infants and children.
– Pediatric prescription drugs: Lindane shampoos; Ritalin, for treatment of attention deficit disorder.
– Drugs prescribed during pregnancy: the estrogenic DES; the anti-epileptic Dilantin.

NCI’s silence on such causes of childhood cancer violates the charge of the 1971 National Cancer Act, launching President Nixon’s War against Cancer “to disseminate cancer information to the public.” This silence is also contrary to NCI’s 1998 Congressional testimony that it had developed a public registry of avoidable carcinogens. Not surprisingly, the media remain as uninformed as the public. An April 1, 2003, New York Times article, “Success Stories Abound in Efforts to Prevent and Control Cancer,” stated that while amazing progress has been made in treating childhood cancers, “their causes remain a mystery.”

Besides the NCI silence on avoidable causes of childhood cancer, it has failed to provide scientific guidance to regulatory agencies as reflected in their inconsistent and questionable policies. This is illustrated in the well-intentioned current proposal of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Environmental Protection Agency to develop new guidelines for regulating risks from Early-Life Exposure to Carcinogens.

The minimal priorities of NCI for research and providing the public with information on avoidable causes of childhood cancer reflect imbalanced policies and not lack of resources. NCI’s annual budget has increased some 25-fold, from $200 million to $5.2 billion, since passage of the 1971 National Cancer Act. NCI expenditures on prevention of avoidable causes of cancer have been estimated as under 4% of its budget.

pages 11 – 13

The links below provide additional information and book purchasing information

NATIONAL CANCER INSTITUTE and AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY: Criminal Indifference to Cancer Prevention and Conflicts of Interest by Samuel S Epstein, M.D.

http://www.amazon.com/NATIONAL-CANCER-INSTITUTE-AMERICAN-SOCIETY/dp/1462861342

http://www.preventcancer.com/consumers/

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Privatization of the National Cancer Program – An Excerpt – National Cancer Institute and American Cancer Society: Criminal Indifference to Cancer Prevention and Conflicts of Interest by Samuel S. Epstein

Privatization of the National Cancer Program

In 1998, ACS created and funded the National Dialogue on Cancer (NCD), co-chaired by former President George Bush and Barbara Bush. Included were a wide range of cancer survivor groups, some one hundred representatives of the cancer drug industry, and Shandwick International PR, whose major clients include RJ Reynolds Tobacco Holdings.

Without informing NCD’s participants and behind closed doors, ACS spun off a small legislative committee. Its explicit objective was to advise Congress on the need to replace the 1971 National Cancer Act with a new National Cancer Control Act, which would shift major control of cancer policy from the NCI to the ACS. The proposed Act would also increase NCI funding from this year’s $4.6 billion to $14 billion by 2007. The ACS was assisted by Shandwick in drafting the new Act besides managing the NDC.

Subsequent to von Eschenbach’s appointment, NDC was spun off into a nonprofit organization. NDC then hired Edelman, another tobacco PR firm, following a pledge that it would sever its relations with the industry. Edelman represents the Brown & Williamson Tobacco Company and the Altria Group, the parent company of Philip Morris, the nation’s biggest cigarette maker; Edelman also represents Kraft and other fast-food and beverage companies now targeted by antiobesity litigation. Edelman is also a board member of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention Foundation, which fosters relations between the centers, ACS, and the NCI. Edelman has thus become firmly embedded in national cancer policy making. In July 2003, it was discovered that Edelman had reneged on its pledge and was continuing to fight tobacco control programs from its overseas offices. Attempting damage control, Edelman claimed that this was just an oversight. Once more, it agreed to terminate tobacco support programs and to donate this income to charity.

Equally disturbing was the growing secretive collaboration between the NCI and the ACS-NDC complex as revealed in the August 2003 Cancer Letter. The latest example was the planned privatization of cancer drug trials together with the creation of a massive tumor tissue bank. This would have cost between $500 million and $1.2 billion to operate apart from construction costs in the billions. This initiative would be privatized, rife with conflicts of interest, exempt from provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee and Freedom of Information Acts and free from federal technology transfer regulations.

page 16 – 17

For more information on this critically important book and to purchase a copy please click on the link below.


National Cancer Institute and American Cancer Society: Criminal Indifference to Cancer Prevention and Conflicts of Interest by Samuel S. Epstein


http://www.samuelsepstein.com/

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Childhood Cancers – An Excerpt – Chemical Carcinogenesis And Cancers by W.C. Hueper, M.D. (Chief Environment Cancer Section of National Cancer Institute) & W.D. Conway, PhD (Former Senior Chemist Environmental Cancer Section of National Cancer Institute) – 1964

d. Childhood Cancers

The observed rise in cancers during childhood may finally be cited as another illustration of the changing epidemiologic cancer panorama which may reflect the influence of the growing chemicalization of the human economy and its pollution with carcinogenic chemicals. Childhood cancers arising on an exogenous basis may have their origin from two sources. Carcinogens may be introduced into the fetal organism through a transplacental penetration of carcinogens with which the maternal organism came in contact before or during pregnancy (Hueper). Such exposures may result in the development of cancers as well as of “congenital” malformations in the offspring, according to observations made in experimental animals with various chemical carcinogens (ionizing radiation, thiouracil, methycholanthrene, urethane, selenium, 2-acetylaminfluorene, trypan blue) (Shay et al.; Nurnberger and Lipscomb; Porteous; Williams and Schrum; Dargeon; Saye, Watt, Foushee and Palmer; Wilson et al.; Wilson, Brent, and Jordon; Russell and Russell; Danforth; Schinz and Fritz-Niggli; Aaron et al.; Nishimura and Kiginuki; Gruenwald; Hisaoka; Ford, Paterson, and Treuting; Holmberg, Nelson and Wallgren; Manning and Carroll; Peller; Stewart, Webb, Giles and Hewitt; Wilson; Gillman et al.; Larsen). The co-existence of mongolism and leukemia increasingly reported in recent years may be one of the associations related to such transplacental action of carcinogens. (Ingalls; Steyn; O’Connor et al.; Fischler and Farchy; Schunk and Lehman).

Chemicals which modify the mitotic process should primarily be suspected as teratogenic and cancerigenic agents (Steyn; Lawrence and Donlan; Stewart and Barber; Tuchmann-Duplessis and Mercier-Parot).

The second route by which carcinogens are transferred from the mother to the child is through the milk. Many chemicals, including carcinogenic ones (arsenicals, goitrogenic chemicals, chloroform, methylcholanthrene, DDT isoniazid, sulfonamides, radioactive chemicals, mouse milk factor) are excreted with the milk (Clements; Briziarelli; Dao et al.; Sapeika; Shay et al.; Rieben and Druey). The production of cancers in the suckling offspring of mothers excreting such carcinogens with the milk has been reported. Conditions prevailing in modern postnatal life provide for infants an increasingly common contact with environmental and especially dietary, sanitary, and medicinal carcinogenic factors of various types (radioactive chemicals, waxes in milk, and mineral oil in vaccines, x-radiation, etc) sustained by the very young may be of especially serious significance as to the subsequent development of cancers in later life, because observations made recently on newborn animals have shown that such very young animals react with cancerous responses to much smaller doses of carcinogens than adult animals (Pietra et al.; Svec and Hlavayova; Roe et al.; Stich; Kelly and O’Gara; Fiore-Donati et al.; Smith and Rous; Poel and Kammer; Lijinsky; Boutwell and Bosch).

The recent increase in frequency of cancers in infants and children is strikingly illustrated by the fact that twenty years ago cancer was not listed among the ten most frequent causes of death in children, while it has become now the third most frequent cause among children one to four years of age (Ariel and Pack). During 1954 to 1956, the cancer death rate among white males rose from 9.2 per 100,000 population under age one, to 12.7 of the same number. Kiesewetter and Mason quoted statistical data of the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare as showing that in 1945 cancers accounted for 6.9 per cent of all deaths in children under fourteen years of age, while they formed 8.3 per cent of the causes of death among children in 1955. This percentage stood at 7.3 in 1948 (Andersen). Similar observations have been recorded in England (Campbell, Gaisford, Paterson and Steward; Brown and Doll). Apart from chemical factors, genetic influence as well as prenatal and postnatal exposures to ionizing radiation have been considered as possible causes of this development (Stewart and Barber). The importance of carcinogenic exposures sustained before puberty in the development of cancers later in life are indicated by the suggestion of Kennaway and Kennaway that cancers of the stomach are arising after the second twenty-five years of life may be predestined to occur by factors to which the body was exposed during the first twenty-five years. The existence of such time-relations between exposure to a carcinogen (smegma) during the first few years of life and the appearance of penile cancer in adult life is well established (Kennaway).

These observations and considerations supply a substantial scientific basis for the assumption that exposures of pregnant mothers and infants to environmental carcinogenic chemicals, including radioactive agents, sustained to an increasing degree during recent decades, are at least in part, responsible for the observed rise in cancers and especially leukemias, in childhood (Kiesewetter and Mason; Dargeon; Andersen; Ariel and Pack; Stewart and Barber; Burnett; Brown and Doll; Campbell, Gaisford, Paterson and Steward).

pages 158 – 160

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Max Gerson died in 1959. He was eulogized by one of his long time patients, Albert Schweitzer.

I see in him one of the most eminent geniuses in the history of medicine. Many of his basic ideas have been adapted without having his name connected with them. Yet he has achieved more than seemed possible under adverse conditions. He leaves a legacy which commands attention and which will assure him his due place. Those whom he cured will now attest to the truth of his ideas.

I must confess that I probably never would have bought his book had I not read Albert Schweitzer’s comment. I would like to first present information from his book without declaring its title. I would like you all to discover this man in the same manner in which he was revealed to me. Evidence and information presented in his book is profound especially given its publication was in 1958.

Thomas Edison believed that, “The doctors of the future will give no medicine, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet, and in the cause and prevention of disease.” This is the story of one such doctor. The following are excerpts of his 1958 book.

Introduction

At this time, of course, it is not possible to replace a century-long pessimism with an overwhelming optimism. We all know that everything in biology is not as precise as in mathematics or physics. I fear that it will not be possible, at least in the near future, to repair all the damage that modern agriculture and civilization have brought to our lives. I believe it is essential that people unite, in the old conservative manner, for the humanitarian purpose of producing nutrition for their families and future generations as natural and unrefined as possible.

The amount of damage done by chemical fertilizers, spraying, and insecticides which lead to a chronic poisoning of the soil can be estimated when we realize how many poisons go into the fruit and vegetables we eat, into the cattle, the eggs and butter we consume and the milk which we and our children drink.

For the future of coming generations, I think it is high time that we change our agricultural and food preservation methods. Otherwise we will have to increase our institutions for mental patients yearly, and we will see the hospitals overcrowded with degenerative diseases even more rapidly and in greater numbers than the hospitals themselves can be enlarged.

Seventy years ago, leukemia was unknown in the United States. Fifty years ago, lung cancer was so seldom observed in clinics and autopsies that every case was worthy of a publication. But today-what a change for the worse. (O quae mutatio rerum.)

The coming years will make it more and more imperative that organically grown fruit and vegetables will be, and must be, used for protection against degenerative diseases, the prevention of cancer, and more so in the treatment of cancer.

I am more than ever convinced that biochemistry and metabolic science will be victorious in healing degenerative diseases, including cancer if the whole body or the whole metabolism will be attacked and not the symptoms.

The family has to give up some of the social life and do this humanitarian work with deep devotion. The decline in our modern life is evident by this lack of devotion for the sick members of the family.
page 3, 142, 143

Scientists Term Radiation A Peril to Future of Man

A Cumulative Effect

Shock and surprise were expressed by the committee on genetics in its finding that the American public was using up about one third of the safety limit in medical and dental X-rays. Its members called on the medical profession to reduce the use of X-rays to the lowest limit consistent with medical necessity.

This committee also urged a national system of personal records whereby every American would know his total amount of exposure. The effect of radiation is cumulative, it is said, no matter how long the period over which it is experienced.

The six committees studied the radiation problem in the fields of genetics, pathology, meteorology, oceanography, and fisheries, agriculture and food supplies, and disposal and dispersal of radioactive wastes….

Pathological effects: Dr. Shields Warren, Chairman — Recommendations will be made in the future. The committee concluded in agreement with geneticists that radiation, no matter how small the dose, shortens life in some degree…

Dr. Weaver’s genetics committee recommended as a general population safety limit that exposure to radiation should be held down to 10 roentgens for the first 30 years of a person’s life. A roentgen is a unit for measuring the harmful gamma ray from medical and dental X-ray equipment, nuclear weapons explosions and from natural causes like cosmic rays and natural radium.

As a result of medical X-rays it is estimated that each person in this country receives on the average a total accumulated dose to the gonads or sex glands about three roentgens in 30 years. “Of course, some persons get none at all; others may get a good deal….” Dr. Weaver declared it was “stupid genetically” to use X-ray for the fitting of shoes. He was referring to the X-ray devices that have become common in shoe stores and into which children often stare in awe, sometimes without regard to time at the shadows of the bones of their feet.

Dr. Weaver also condemned obstetricians who make X-ray pictures of pregnant mothers to show them how “beautifully formed” is the skeleton of their baby without realizing the “hazards” of the dose of three or four roentgens that is being administered.

In addition to six long summary reports of the committees, the scientists also issued “a report to the public” in the simplest language possible. Here the layman may now read how radiation damage inevitably results from exposure, no matter how small the dose.

Radiation causes mutation or harmful changes in the genes or germ lines of the reproductive organs. Damage manifests itself in shortening of the life span, reduces the ability to produce children, and sometimes, but not often, produces deformed children.

Even if the mutations is in one gene, there is some harmful effect that mutation will go on through every generation until the line that bears it becomes extinct.

The report explained how “every cell of a person’s body contains a great collection, passed down from the parents, the parents’ parents, and so on back, of diverse heredity units called genes.”

The layman’s report went on to explain:
“From the point of view of the total and eventual damage to the entire population, every mutation causes roughly the same amount of harm. This is because mutant genes can only disappear when the inheritance line in which they are carried dies out. In cases of severe and obvious damage this may happen in the first generation; in other cases it may require hundreds of generations.

“Thus, for the general population, and in the long run, a little radiation to a lot of people is as harmful as a lot of radiation to a few, since the total number of mutant genes can be the same in the two cases.”

But damage to future generations due to radiation will be difficult to identify. The study of genetics damage has only just begun, with a report due on genetic effects observed in the populations of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Japanese cities destroyed by American atom bombs in World War II …

The following appeared in an article on radiation in the New York Times on July 21, 1957:

Safety Limit Set

As a safety limit, the National Academy of Sciences has recommended, that the average person receive not more than ten roentgens of man-made radiation to the reproductive organs from conception to the age of 30.

The roentgen is a unit of measurement of radiation dose.
The report also lends new support to the repeated warnings of atomic officials and scientists that man faces a far greater danger from medical use of radiation than he does from the radio-active fall-out from atomic testings

A similar warning came last month from Dr. Leroy E. Burney, Surgeon General of the United States Public Health Service, who said that in view of the increasing sources of radiation in the nuclear age, the time had come to reassess the safety levels of radiation from medical treatment.

In recent years there has been an increasing awareness in the medical profession of the potential danger of radiation from X-ray treatments, and steps have been instituted to limit the radiation dose.

Insecticides

We have learned in recent years that spraying with modern insecticides is doing more damage to our food and to our bodies. I cannot emphasize too often that our nutrition is our external metabolism. Whoever is interested in this field may read the Hearings Before the House Select Committee to Investigate the Use of Chemicals in Food Products, House of Representatives Eighty-First Congress, Second Session. There is clearly described in the hearing of Dr. Biskind what he observed in this field and what he recommended ought to be done.

The following is a brief survey of this hearing: “The introduction for uncontrolled general use by the public of the insecticide DDT, or chlorophenothane, and the series of even more deadly substances that followed, has no previous counterpart in history. Beyond question, no other substance known to man was ever developed so rapidly and spread so indiscriminately over so large a portion of the earth in so short of time. This is the more surprising as, at the time DDT was released for public use, a large amount of data was already available to the medical literature showing that this agent was extremely toxic for many different species of animals, that it was cumulatively stored in the body fat and that it appeared in the milk. At this time a few cases of DDT poisoning in human beings had also been reported. These observations were almost completely ignored or misinterpreted.

“In the subsequent mass use of DDT and related compounds a vast amount of additional information on the toxicity of these materials, both in animals and in man, has become available. Somehow a fantastic myth of human invulnerability has grown up with reference to the use of these substances. Because their effects are cumulative and may be insidious and because they resemble those of so many other conditions, physicians for the most part are unaware of the danger. Elsewhere, the evidence has been treated with disbelief, ignored, misinterpreted, distorted, suppressed or subjected to some of the fanciest double talk ever perpetrated.

“Early last year I published a series of observations on DDT poisoning in man. Since shortly after the last war a large number of cases had been observed by physicians all over the country in which a group of symptoms occurred, the most prominent feature of which was gastroenteritis, persistently recurrent nervous symptoms, and extreme muscular weakness.

– Dr. Gerson then goes on to site the case studies in great detail.
pages 163 -164

The Significance of the Content of the Soil to Human Disease

The familiar expression “mother earth” is justified. When we take from and rob the earth we disturb the natural equilibrium and harmony, producing sickness of the soil, sickness of the plants and fruits (the common nutrition), and finally sickness of both animals and human beings.

As a physician who has spent much of his life investigating the nutritional aspects of disease, I have often had occasion to observe a definitive connection between dietary deficiencies and a sick or poor quality soil.

The relationship between soil and plants on the one hand and animal and human nutrition on the other is to me a fascinating subject. This relationship is a natural cycle in which one may distinguish two great parts:

I. The first part, which may be called “external metabolism,” is comprised of the following:
(a) Plants and their fruits.
(b) Composition of the soil in which they grow–thus being the real basis of all nutrition.
(c) Transportation, storage, and preparation of these food stuffs.

II. The second part, known as “internal metabolism” consists of all the biochemical transformations that take place when such foodstuffs enter the animal body and support the nutrition and growth of its cells and tissues.

When foodstuffs are ingested, their metabolism is influenced directly by the biochemical changes of the individual body and indirectly by the condition of the soil from which they came. The type of metabolic change thus directly affects nutrition and growth of body tissues. There is an external and internal metabolism upon which all life depends; both are closely and inextricably connected with each other; furthermore, the reserves of both are not inexhaustible. There are, of course, some exceptions, about five to ten percent of the population who have an extraordinarily well-functioning reabsorption and good storage capacity apparatus.

This is to emphasize the great importance of metabolism to human health, i.e., the soil as the basis of life which is generally neglected to a great extent.

There are then numerous soil studies illustrating relationships between soil health and plant and animal health.

We must conclude from these observations that unless the soil is cared for properly, the depleted soil with its abnormal external metabolism will bring about more and more abnormalities of our internal metabolism, resulting in serious degenerative diseases in animals and human beings. The soil needs activity–the natural cycle of growth; it needs rest; it needs protection from erosion; and finally, it needs less and less artificial fertilizer, but more and more of the use of organic waste material in the correct way, to maintain the soil’s productivity and life. Food produced in that way–we have to eat as living substances, partly fresh and partly freshly prepared, for life begets life. Organic gardening food seems to be the answer to the cancer problem.

page 175-176, 185

Paracelsus’ Dietary Regime

The body needs nutrition through which it is bound to nature. However, that which we have to give to the body as nutrition also contains toxins and damaging substances…

The human being has to acquire knowledge of what to eat and drink, and what he has to weave and wear, because nature gave him the instinct of self-preservation. For the things that one does for the prolongation of one’s life are ordained by Great Nature. If someone eats what is useful for his health and avoids other things that may shorten his life then he is a man of wisdom and self-control. All that we do should serve to prolong our life….
page 49

In themselves, the statements of Paracelsus about diet are not uniform but one can notice everywhere in them the thought that combines them; their chemical effect. Everywhere in his writings it can be perceived how he would like to dissect everything into the finest particles (atoms) and find an interpretation; it seems as if he would like a penetrating power to enable him to look into things microscopically. The layman only sees the surface; the physician must be able to visualize the inside and the hidden facts which combine to form the whole, regardless of whether it is a piece of wood or bone. Marvelous are his ideas about the chemical reactions and his passionate love for all chemical occurrences which he applied to the reactions of the body long before his time. Paracelsus seeks to develop everything from its origin. In that he always observes three things: the heaven, the earth, and the microcosm; it is similar with healing. Man can only be comprehended through a microcosm; not through himself alone. Only knowledge about this harmony perfects the physician.

This short condensation does not take a critical stand in the historical sense towards the statements of Paracelsus as measured against the knowledge of his time. It merely seeks to show how stimulating his writings are and the wealth of ideas which shines through everywhere, how intense his urge to find causal connections in accordance with the eternal laws in nature outside of the body and the same laws ruling inside the microcosm.
page 53

The Concept of Totality-Decisive in Cancer and Other Degenerative Diseases.

Cancer is a chronic, degenerative disease, where almost all essential organs are involved in the more advanced cases: The entire metabolism with the intestinal tract and its adnexa, the liver and pancreas, the circulatory apparatus (the cellular exchange supporter), the kidneys and bile system (as main elimination organs), the reticulo-endothelial and lymphatic system (as defense apparatus), the central nervous system and especially the visceral nervous system for most metabolic and motoric purposes.

Dr. Nicholas was probably one of the first in our time who recognized the “concept of totality” as applied to disease. He combined the following clinical appearances: Emotional, nutritional, poisons, infections, accidents and inheritance as underlying causes for diseases: “No wonder we are all sick….and science is no longer science when it attempts to violate God’s natural law.”

Some cancer biologists are of the opinion that “cancer is a phenomenon co-existent with the living processes,” “that the cancer cell is not something living exclusively from the body,” and that the cancer cell is not a special “system isolated from the living organism.” They are united with and part of the whole body.

It has been emphasized before that cancer develops in a body which more or less has lost the normal functions of the metabolism as a consequence of a chronic daily poisoning accumulated especially in the liver.” It is important to realize that in our body all the most innermost processes work together, depend on each other, and will be deranged with each other in diseases. That is the reason why all of them together have to be attacked for healing purposes at the base and in combination. My clinical experiences revealed that this is the surest way to success of a therapy. Most parts of the general metabolism can be found concentrated in the liver. The biological function of the liver itself, however, depends on the proper activity and correct cooperation of many other essential organs….

Medical science has eliminated the totality of the natural biological rules in the human body, mostly by dividing research and practice into many specialties. Doing intensive, masterly specialized work, it was forgotten that every part is still only a piece of the entire body.

In all textbooks, we find that single biological processes have been studied and overestimated statements made about them. The symptoms of a disease have become the main problem for research, clinical work and therapy. The old methods sought to combine all functional parts in a body into a biological entity, have been pushed aside almost involuntarily, in the clinic, and especially in institutions of physiology and pathology. Finally, that idea became very remote in our thinking and therapeutical work. The opinion of the best cancer specialists is, as Jessie Greenstein stated, “Emphasis must be laid on a direct study on the side of malignancy itself,” despite the fact that his book is an excellent collection of physiological changes in the other organs, especially the liver. In my opinion, the application of the concept of totality can help us find the true cause of cancer; it could be best worked out in practical examples, not in animal experiments where every little symptom is observed singly (by itself).

In the nutritional field, observations for centuries have shown that people who live according to natural methods in which plants, animals and human beings are only fragments of the eternal cycle of Nature do not get cancer. On the contrary, people who accept methods of modern nutrition on an increasing scale become involved in degenerative diseases, including cancer, in a relatively short time.

In later medical history, the best known cancer-free people were the Hunzas, who live on the slopes of the Himalaya mountains and who use only food grown in their own country and fertilized with natural manure. Imported food is forbidden. Very similar is the story of the Ethiopians who also have natural agriculture and living habits which seems to prove that this type of agriculture keeps people free of cancer and most degenerative diseases.

The damage that modern agriculture brings into our lives begins with the soil, where artificial fertilization leads to the displacement of mineral contents and changes in the flora of microbes combined with the exodus of the earthworms. Consequently, frequent erosion of arable land takes place. These changes bring about, at the beginning, an irritation of the plants; later they cause their degeneration. Spraying with poisonous substances (insecticides) increases the poisons in the soil, and these poisons are transferred to plants and fruits.

We must conclude from these and many other observations that the soil and all that grows in it is not something distant from us but must be regarded as our external metabolism, which produces the basic substances for our internal metabolism. Therefore, the soil must be cared for properly and must not be depleted or poisoned; otherwise, these changes will result in serious degenerative diseases, rapidly increasing in animals and humans beings. The soil needs activity–the natural cycle in growth and in rest–and natural fertilizer, as we have to give back that which is necessary to replenish the consumed substances. This is the best protection against erosion; it also maintains the soil’s microbic flora, productivity and life. Food planted and grown in this way must be eaten partly as living substances and partly freshly prepared, for “life begets life.” Very significant are reports about Eskimos who get degenerative diseases and cancer in those parts of their country where canned food and unnatural nutrition were introduced and accepted.

Dr. Albert Schweitzer, who built a hospital in Lambarene, Central Africa, 40 years ago, reported in his letters of October, 1954, the following:

“Many natives, especially those who are living in larger communities, do not live now as the same way as formerly–they used to live almost exclusively on fruits and vegetables, bananas, casava, ignam, taro, sweet potatoes and other fruits. They now live on condensed milk, canned butter, meat-and-fish preserves and bread.” Dr. Schweitzer observed in 1954 the first operation on appendicitis on a native of this region.” …. The date of the appearance of cancer and other diseases of civilization cannot be traced in our region with the same certainty as that of appendicitis, because the microscopic examinations have only been in existence here for a few years…. It is obvious to connect the fact of increase of cancer also with increased use of salt by the natives…. Curiously enough, we did not have any cancer cases in our hospitals before.”

Dr. Salisbury reported, concerning the Navajo Indians, that he had, in 23 years, 35,000 Indian admissions in the hospital, with only 66 cases of cancer. The death rate among these Indians is one out of 1,000, while it is about one out of 500 among Indians who have accepted part of the nutrition of modern civilization.

The Bantu population of South Africa has 20 percent primary liver cancers. Their diet, of a very low standard, consists chiefly of cheap carbohydrates, maize and mealy meals. Seldom do they have fermented cow’s milk. Meat is eaten only at ceremonies. Two physicians, Dr Gilbert and Dr. Gilman, studied their nutrition habits in animal experiments and placed stress on the diet of the Bantus as a cause of cancer…..

To the great complexity of the biological functions of the body belongs also its capacity of adaptation. A healthy body can adapt itself to different types of nutrition. It reabsorbs the necessary minerals, vitamins, and enzymes as we know from experiments to determine the time for the clinical appearance of one type or another of vitamin deficiency. A sick body has lost this capacity. The deficiencies cannot be restored as long as the essential organs are poisoned. That is true in cancer also, as demonstrated by clinical observations.

Cancer, the great killer, will be prevented and can be cured if we learn to understand the eternal laws of totality in nature and in our body. Both are combined and have to be united in a effective treatment for cancer; in that way we can learn to cure cancer in a higher proportion, even in advanced cases. The limitations of the totality of functions of the whole body, however, also come into action here. The totality of functions is lost if one or another vital organ is too far destroyed. I saw, in several patients, tumors of the abdomen absorbed, and in others, hundreds of nodules and nodes on the skin and some as the base of the brain eliminated, but the patients died of cirrhosis of the liver in a period of one to three and a half years afterwards.

A Cancer Therapy: Results of Fifty Cases and The Cure of Advanced Cancer by Diet Therapy

About the Author

Dr. Max Gerson first came to the attention of the medical profession and the public in 1929, when he developed an effective treatment for tuberculosis of the skin (Lupus), which was until then considered incurable. Under the supervision and sponsorship of the internationally famous surgeon, Ferdinand Sauerbruch, this new therapy has been tested on 450 patients at the University of Munich. Of these 446 made a complete recovery.

Dr. Gerson studied medicine at several well-known German Universities including Freiburg, Breslau, and Berlin. He was associated with some of the finest hospitals and was assistant to the eminent neurologist, Ottfried Foerster. He has lectured at universities and to medical assemblies in the principal cities of Europe. After D. Gerson came to the United States twenty-two years ago, he devoted himself to the study and treatment of cancer.

In July 1946, a Senate Subcommittee under the chairmanship of Senator Claude Pepper, witnessed a demonstration of cancer patients whose health had been restored by Dr. Gerson’s therapy. This was the first time in the history of the United States Senate that a physician was so honored. This demonstration is in the Congressional Record.

Dr. Gerson has published fifty medical papers and three books.

Preface

My approach is mostly in the field of nutritional changes. Most of the details of the findings and application already have been proved by scientific research. The results obtained in the cases presented here were the result of the application and composition of the demonstrated facts. These findings have been combined in the last years with the idea that intensive and maintained detoxification of the diseased body is required for a longer period than described in previous publications. In recent years the public has been educated and alerted towards the difficult problem of malignancies and the unceasing search for a successful treatment. While this book was written for the medical profession primarily, I endeavored to write it so intelligent laymen could understand the main problems involved. Several chapters were written at different times; therefore the reader will find a number of repetitions.

The history of medicine reveals that reformers who bring new ideas into the general thinking and practice of physicians have a difficult time. Very few physicians like to change their medical approaches. The majority practice what they have learned and apply the treatments of the textbooks more or less automatically. Right from the beginning, the physician wants most of all to help the patient. He hesitates to take risks for his patients by applying a not-recognized treatment. The history of science, art and technology shows that each new idea has been fought bitterly; most of the reformers did not live to see the realization of their ideas.

This is one of the reasons why developments in culture made very slow progress all through the centuries; they were restrained forcefully.

I was in a more favorable position. Ninety to ninety-five percent of my patients were far advanced (terminal) cases without any risk to take; either all recognized treatments had failed or the patients were inoperable from the beginning. It takes some time to acquire enough experience to see progress, results or failures.

page xvi

Acknowledgments

I wish to acknowledge with deep gratitude the cooperation and encouragement received from the Foundation for Cancer Treatment, Inc., a non-profit organization formed many years ago by grateful patients for the purpose of perpetuating the treatment as described in this book. To the following directors of the Foundation, I would like to express my special thanks: Professor Dr. Albert Schweitzer, Professor Henry Schaefer-Simmern, Mr. Carl Groper, Rev. Dr. Erwin Seale, Professor Fulmer Mood, Mr. Louis J. Rosenthal and Mr. Arnold J. Oberlander.

This publication is an exemplification of the work of Max Gerson, M.D., on his treatment of cancer as disclosed to the United States Senate in public hearings held July 1, 2, and 3, 1946. It is designed as a report on his continued work in cancer treatment, and will be filed with the United States Senate when it again resumes hearings on means of curing and preventing cancer. The title page of the U.S. Senate Committee report, containing 227 pages, follows:

Cancer Research
Hearings
before a
Subcommittee of the
Committee on Foreign Relations
United States Senate
Seventy-Ninth Congress
Second Session
on
S. 1875

A bill to authorize and request the President to undertake to mobilize at some convenient place in the United States as adequate number of the World’s Outstanding Experts, and coordinate and utilize their services in a Supreme Effort to Discover Means of Curing and Preventing Cancer.

July 1, 2 and 3, 1946

Printed for the use of the Committee on Foreign Relations
United States
89471 Government Printing Office
Washington: 1946

A Cancer Therapy: Results of Fifty Cases

About the Book

The great majority of Dr. Gerson’s patients have been terminal cases, which in most instances had been treated by conventional methods or had been previously diagnosed as inoperable. With fifty years of medical research and clinical experience to guide him in the practical handling of such patients, Dr. Gerson has developed the therapy which this volume describes in detail. Here are its fundamentals, the history of its development and its practical management.

This volume offers a different approach to the problem of cancer based on the concept of totality. Emphasis is placed on the deteriorated metabolism as a whole with the liver as its central organ. Dr. Gerson believes tumors to be only symptoms of cancer since they reappear all too frequently. The real disease affects and weakens the entire body. In order to bring about the healing processes, the liver and other vital organs must be restored and the body functions reactivated to as near normal as possible.

For a more effective prevention of cancer as well as other chronic and degenerative diseases, this book presents a sensible dietary regime–a nutrition that can be followed by the average family in order to maintain health and build the best possible bodily strength for defense purposes.

The fifty case histories selected for this book have been chosen from the many hundreds of cases from Dr. Gerson’s files in the hope that they may be of interest to the members of the medical profession.

Here we find favorable results in far advanced, internal cancer cases.

After more than 25 years of cancer work I can draw the following conclusions:

1) Cancer is not a local but a general disease, caused chiefly by the poisoning of foodstuffs prepared by modern farming and food industry. Medicine must be able to adapt its therapeutic methods to the damages of the processes of our modern civilization.

2) A method is elaborated to detoxify the body, kill the tumor masses and to absorb and eliminate them. (Restoration of the healing power.)

3) A way has been found to restore the liver if not too far destroyed and repair the destruction caused by the tumor masses.

– Dr. Max Gerson

See Abstract of New York Academy of Medicine and reprint of the New York City Cancer Committee in the book, Cancer Alerts, 1957.

I highly recommend reading this fascinating book. I will end this excerpt with his list of necessary foods & forbidden foods and consumer products given to his cancer patients.

Necessary Food

This diet consists mainly of the following organic foods

Fruit
Juices of fruit, vegetables and leaves
Vegetables, salads
Special Soup
Potatoes
Oatmeal, bread, etc.

All Freshly Prepared and Saltless

Forbidden

Nicotine
Salt and all substitutes

Foods

Bottled
Canned
Refined
Salted
Smoked
Sulphured
Frozen
Preserved

Alcohol
Avocados, nuts (too much fatty acid.)
Berries (aromatic acids cause unfavorable reactions)
Fat
Flour (white)
Beverages (commercial)
Bicarbonate of soda in food, toothpaste, gargle
Candy
Cake
Chocolate
Cocoa
Coffee, also instant
Cream
Cucumbers (too much sodium)
Epsom Salts
Ice Cream
Mushrooms
Nuts
Oil
Pineapples (too many aromatic acids)
Spice (Pepper, Paprika)
Soy Beans and Soy Products
Sugar (white)
tea
drinking water (Distilled only)

Temporarily Forbidden until further notice:
Butter
Cheese
Eggs
Fish
Meat
Milk

Fluoride in toothpaste, gargle
Hair dying and Permanents

Utensils

Do not use: Pressure cookers or any aluminum pots or utensils

Use: Stainless Steel, glass, enamel, earthenware, and cast iron.

Utensils for the Preparation of Juices

Use: A separate grinder and a separate press.

Do not use: One-unit machines such as liquifiers, centrifuges, juice mixers or masters, etc.

Fluoridation of the water supply has become very common in many communities. Since fluorides are among the most powerful enzyme inhibitors and since healing requires the reactivation of enzymes, it is obvious that fluorides must be eliminated from all food and water supplies as much as possible. Fluoridated toothpastes or enzyme inhibiting toothpastes must be avoided along with all other toxic substances such as insect sprays, paint sprays..
page 399.

Task of the Saltless Diet in Cancer

The main task of the saltless diet is to eliminate the retained Na, Cl together with toxins and poisons from the tissues all over the body.

All poisons and other substances difficult to eliminate are stimulants for the sick tissues, especially liver and kidneys. That condition seems to be the reason why sodium chloride excretion increases in tuberculosis, cancer and other chronic diseases after two to three days on a saltless diet, and this condition stays at that higher level for about eight to fourteen days, corresponding to a favorable development in the course of the disease. After that is accomplished, it stays near normal level with the saltless diet.
page 165

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