Childhood Cancer and the Environment
Testimony before the President’s Cancer Panel
Phili J. Landrigan, MD, MSc, FAAP
Mt. Sinai Children’s Hospital states that1 in6 children inAmericaare being born with cognitive or developmental disabilities: they claim that this may be caused by exposure to environmental contaminants including pesticides.
Southampton town declares that the water is good quality and contamination is within EPA limits, what people do not realize is that our understanding of molecular biology and our methods of testing has become more evolved since many of the standards have been set and the laws have not kept up with medical knowledge. Also, the chemical industry every year produces so many chemicals that the EPA does not have the resources to investigate each one for its health implications in our water. Ironically there are organic methods our landscapers would happily employ that produce beautiful lawns, would not polluteLakeAgawamor our water supply.
Wetlands are essential for the survival of people during storms. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) protects wetlands because of their vital role in reducing flood destruction. The EPA states that one acre of wetland water can store 1-1.5 million gallons of floodwater.LakeAgawamhas stood stoically for centuries protecting our town from the wrath of storms and hurricanes. In November of 2006 the Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory in conjunction with international groups released a report that stated scientists have documented an increase in tropical cyclone energy, numbers, and wind speed because of warmer sea surface temperature. They also stated that sea level rise would increase potential flooding from tropical cyclone storm surge. This is excellent news if you do not need to pay flood insurance and you like to surf.
Although it is the current trend of American politicians to suddenly ignore global warming, claim that CO2 is “life”, and that climate change is natural, reality is
pointing in a different direction. Water is life yet we can still drown, tsunamis are natural but I don’t recommend waiting for one. Climate change is an important issue whenSouthamptonconsiders its water management and natural resource policies.
Surprisingly, President Bush took advice on global warming from Michael Crichton, the fiction novelist who later testified in the Senate as an expert on climate change. Who is the next expert to shape American policy? Lady Gaga? Santa Claus? Michael Crichton along with Exxon and a few politicians seem to think climate change is a global conspiracy to prevent Americans from being prosperous. To heck with the hundreds of our own scientist from the USGS: National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA):NationalCenterfor Atmospheric Research UCAR: EPA: DEC. etc. that have evidence of climate change and literally hundreds if not thousands of organizations across the world that all agree that global warming is a reality. If humanity could unite to pull off such an incredibly expensive—millions have been spent on research—time consuming—and preposterous conspiracy on Americans I am ready to say that humanity can really do anything. Perhaps after the global warming scam we should pull off ending world hunger or poverty.
The community of theHamptonsis as unique and rare asLakeAgawam.
We are a town that cares about our natural resources. But we do not always know when the silk scarf is being pulled over our eyes. Which is what is happening regardingLakeAgawamand our water supply systems. The USGS states that water is now a national and global security issue because the world is running out of fresh
water. In theHamptonsthe officials argue that there is not enough money to create
the infrastructure to clean and maintain our aquatic systems. I have not seen their financial reports but I know politicians of theHamptonsare not widely known for their progressive fiscal talents unless they have been caught in a fraud scheme. The community needs an assertive plan of action. How much money does our community lose because we cannot sustain recreational or fishing activities? How much money would the town need to provide emergency relief if our water became undrinkable? How much would real estate go down if we entered a water crisis? Ultimately our tax dollars are not going to magically protectLakeAgawamor our water supplies. The community will need to be the voices and will to make that happen. Lucky for us we enjoy bellowing.