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NCC applauds President's cancer panel
for highlighting links to chemical exposure

Washington, May 7, 2010 --The National Council of Churches (NCC) Washington Office Director Cassandra Carmichael today applauded President Obama's Cancer Panel for highlighting the connections between chemical exposure and cancer.

“We have been helping to educate religious leaders and people in the pews about the hazards of chemical exposure in everyday products such as food, toys, and personal care products,” said Carmichael.

"We have a particular Biblical call to protect vulnerable populations such as women and children as well as disproportionately impacted communities of color and low-income communities. Many of these chemicals such as bisphenol-A can have harmful effects on these communities in particular," Carmichael said.

The full text of Carmichael's statement:

"We applaud the President’s Cancer Panel for emphasizing the connections between chemical exposure and cancer in a report released Thursday. As people of faith we are called to protect vulnerable populations such as women, people of color, the elderly and children. Our congregations are already working to educate people of faith about safer alternatives to everyday chemicals found in the food we eat and products we use. We hope that this report will help highlight the need to change the way we regulate chemicals."

The NCC launched its environmental health program in 1999 with an education and worship resource on children’s environmental health. Today, the program educates and empowers congregations across the county with resources such as a Healthy Spa Toolkit, which enables individuals to make their own healthier alternatives to common personal care products.

“Our environmental health education, worship, and action resources remain our most popular,” said Carmichael. “We are made in the image of God and it is important that we care for our bodies in ways that are healthy.”

The President's Cancer Panel, established in 1971 by President Richard Nixon, is normally comprised of three distinguished experts who review America’s cancer program and report directly to the President. Currently there are two members: Dr. LaSalle D. Leffall Jr. of Howard University and Dr. Margaret L. Kripke, a professor emerita from the M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. Both were appointed by President George W. Bush.                                  

NCC News contact:  Philip E. Jenks, 212-870-2228 (office), 646-853-4212 (cell),

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