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Funds Sought for Studies of Environment-Cancer Links

Funds Sought for Studies of Environment-Cancer Links

WASHINGTON—The Clinton Administration wants to sharply increase funding for studies to determine environmental causes of cancer, particularly of the breast and prostate. The President is asking Congress to provide $27 million in fiscal year 2001 to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Environmental Health Lab, an increase of 56% over the current budget.

Some scientific evidence indicates that unknown environmental factors may increase the risk of breast and prostate cancer, the White House said. It noted that the CDC has reported links between the pesticide dieldrin and an increased risk of breast cancer and between polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and an increased risk of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

The funds would:

  • Double the level of assistance provided by CDC scientists to state and local public health officials investigating adverse health situations possibly linked to environmental exposure.

“As part of these interventions, the CDC will test the exposure of thousands of individuals to toxic substances to determine the cause of their illness,” the White House said.

  • Help identify areas where individuals are exposed to carcinogens and other toxic substances. The new funds would provide routine nationwide monitoring of more than 100 potentially toxic substances, including some 70 possible carcinogens.

  • Ensure that the Environmental Health Lab, working with state and local officials, can better address public health emergencies, such as pesticide contamination and chemical spills.

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