Friday, June 5, 2009

CHAPTER 15-The Dirty Dozen

The last couple of chapters have dealt with which foods and
supplements you should consume. Now for the items you should
avoid. I have labeled this chapter “The Dirty Dozen” because it
details 12 foods/toxins which can pose serious health problems if
consumed or ingested regularly. Actually, a few of them can cause
serious problems if only consumed/ingested even occasionally. Is it
possible to eliminate these substances completely? Probably not, but
at least you will be aware of which ones are the worst, since food
and toxins are integral components of the cancer equation. As a
matter of fact, a recent report by the Columbia University School of
Public Health estimated that 95% of cancer is caused by diet and
environmental toxicity. These statistics are staggering, if you really
think about them!
Here are a few more startling statistics:
􀂾 There are over 80,000 chemicals produced in North America
􀂾 There are over 3,000 chemicals added to our food supply
􀂾 There are over 10,000 chemical solvents, emulsifiers, and
preservatives used in food processing
􀂾 There are over 1,000 new chemicals introduced each year
“When you see the golden arches, you are probably on
your way to the pearly gates.” Dr. William Castelli
Chapter 15 – “The Dirty Dozen” Cancer – Step Outside the Box
This chapter is a veritable “buffet” of foods, toxins, and poisons to
avoid like the plague if you have cancer! The first section is entitled
“Franken-Foods” and the last section is entitled “Terrible Toxins.”
This section is entitled “Franken-Foods” because, if you will notice,
all of the foods have been altered from their natural state or they
contain ingredients which have been altered. The 5 foods/food
ingredients in this section not only have little nutritional value, but
they also give your body a healthy (or is it “unhealthy”) dose of
carcinogenic toxins, which should make the idea of eating them
really “hard to swallow.”
“Fake-Fats” (Trans-fats & Hydrogenated Oils)
“Trans-fats” are manufactured fats, produced by pushing hydrogen
into vegetable oils to produce a solid fat, hence they are also called
“hydrogenated” or “partially hydrogenated” oils. Trans-fats are in
fried foods, margarines, and baked goods, packaged snacks, cookies,
pie crusts, and donuts. Even “healthy” low-fat muffins and cereals
may contain trans-fats. Trouble is, trans-fats are bad for us even in
tiny quantities. Research has shown that they are implicated in
increased cardiac disease, cholesterol levels, and yes, cancer.
According to Dr. Brian Olshansky, M.D., University of Iowa Health
Care Professor of Internal Medicine, “the problem with trans fatty
acids is that your body doesn’t know what to do with them. Trans
fatty acids may help preserve food so that it tastes good, but your
body can’t break them down and use them correctly. Normal fats are
very supple and pliable, but the trans fatty acid is a stiff fat that can
build up in the body and create havoc. The chemical recipe for a
trans fatty acid involves putting hydrogen atoms in the wrong place.
It’s like making a plastic.”
Chapter 15 – “The Dirty Dozen” Cancer – Step Outside the Box
In order to mass produce and distribute foods high in oils, food
manufacturers deliberately alter the chemical composition of the
oils, which gives them longer “shelf lives.” In the 1950s, Dr. Johanna
Budwig proved that these chemically-altered, hydrogenated fats
(which she called “pseudo” fats) destroy cell membranes. She
demonstrated that these hydrogenated, processed fats and oils shut
down the electrical field of the cells and make us susceptible to
chronic and terminal diseases.
In healthy fats there is a vital electron cloud which enables the fat to
bind with oxygen. Healthy, oxygenated fats are capable of binding
with protein and in the process become water-soluble. This water
solubility is vital to all growth processes, cell damage restoration,
cell renewal, brain and nerve functions, sensory nerve functions,
and energy development. In fact, the entire basis of our energy
production is based on lipid metabolism. Hydrogenation destroys the
vital electron cloud, and as a result, these “pseudo” fats can no longer
bind with oxygen or with protein. These fats end up blocking
circulation, damaging the heart, inhibiting cell renewal, and
impeding the free flow of blood and lymph.
Three of the most popular foods which contain trans-fats are donuts,
french fries, and chips. Donuts are nothing but big balls of sugar,
trans-fats, and white flour. They have no nutritional value. Most
french fries and chips have been soaked in trans-fats to such extent
that there in virtually no nutrition left in them. Some companies
have tried to make them more “healthy” by eliminating the transfats,
but all donuts and chips and fries that are cooked in oil
(regardless of what type oil) have cancer-causing acrylamides. The
chemical, acrylamide, which is used industrially in the manufacture
of some plastics, is also formed by the heating of starches. And guess
what…three foods with especially high levels of acrylamides are
donuts, french fries, and potato chips. Acrylamides are only allowed
in your drinking water at a level of 0.12 micrograms per serving by
the EPA. Check this out: a 6 ounce helping of french fries at your
local fast food joint will contain anywhere from 50 to 70 micrograms
of acrylamides. That’s between 400 and 600 times the EPA limit! I
Chapter 15 – “The Dirty Dozen” Cancer – Step Outside the Box
have heard it said by numerous doctors that a french fry is worse for
your health than a cigarette. I agree.
In light of the fact that they have been shown to cause so many
health problems, why do food manufacturers continue to use transfats?
The answer is plain and simple: money. Trans-fats greatly
prolong the shelf life of processed foods.
High Fructose Corn Syrup / Sugar / Sodas
I decided to combine these 3 items since they typically go “hand in
hand” in our “Big Gulp” society, despite what you hear from the
sugar industry and its efforts to prevent the distribution of
information that accurately links refined sugars to chronic disease.
Cancer cells grow by anaerobic respiration; they ferment sugar. If
you’ve ever made wine, you’ll know that fermentation requires
sugar. There are many nutritional cancer therapies, but not a single
one allows foods high in carbohydrates and not a single one allows
sugars, because sugar feeds cancer.
But isn’t “high fructose corn syrup” a healthy alternative? Well, in a
word, “no.” But why didn’t my doctor warn me about it?
Remember, it wasn’t too long ago when doctors were being paid by
cigarette companies to actually endorse cigarettes. So it’s really no
surprise that there are some doctors who are clueless on the dangers
of high fructose corn syrup, despite the fact that it’s basically
common sense to anyone who has half a brain and has spent more
than a few minutes studying the issue. When you understand how
blood sugar is regulated in the human body, how the pancreas
works, and how the digestive system converts dietary sugars into
blood glucose, it is obvious that candy bars and soft drinks promote
obesity, diabetes, and chronic disease by suppressing the immune
system and inhibiting mineral absorption.
Let’s think about this for a moment. What do farmers feed cows
when they want to “fatten them up” for market? Corn, of course! So,
if you want to look like a cow, all you have to do is eat lots of corn
Chapter 15 – “The Dirty Dozen” Cancer – Step Outside the Box
and corn by-products, including high-fructose corn syrup.
Amazingly, a 12 ounce can of soda has as much as 13 teaspoons of
sugar in the form of high fructose corn syrup. Another reason to
avoid carbonated sodas is that they have a pH of around 2.0, which
will contribute to a highly acidic terrain. According to Dr. James
Howenstine, M.D., “In an interesting experiment the sugar from one
soft drink was able to damage the white blood cells’ ability to ingest
and kill gonococcal bacteria for seven hours…soft drinks also
contain large quantities of phosphorus, which when excreted pulls
calcium out of the bones. Heavy users of soft drinks will have
osteoporosis along with their damaged arteries” (J. Howenstine, A
Physician’s Guide to Natural Health Products That Work).
In 1951, Dr. Clive McCay, a Navy nutritionist at the Naval Medical
Research Institute, found that human teeth softened and started to
dissolve in a short period of time after sitting in a cup of Coca Cola.
He stated the acidity of cola beverages is about the same as vinegar,
only it is masked by the sugar content. Maybe this is why soda pops
are also referred to as “soft drinks” – because they soften your teeth
and bones!!
And if you think diet sodas are better, think again. Diet sodas
typically have a lower pH than normal soda, and they also contain
harmful artificial sweeteners like aspartame. If you want to sweeten
foods, I recommend stevia, which is an herb 300 times sweeter than
sugar. Its medicinal uses include regulating blood sugar, preventing
hypertension, treatment of skin disorders, and prevention of tooth
decay. Other studies show that it is a natural anti-bacterial and antiviral
agent as well. So, while it will make your food tasty, stevia is
also actually good for you!
For the cancer patient, sugar is a definite “no-no.” If you hate your
cancer, then starve it. If you regularly drink sodas, try drinking
water instead. Eliminating sodas from your diet is one of the easiest
ways to immediately improve your health.
Chapter 15 – “The Dirty Dozen” Cancer – Step Outside the Box
Excitotoxins (MSG & Aspartame)
What is an excitotoxin? These are substances, usually amino acids,
that react with specialized receptors (neurons) in the brain in such a
way as to lead to destruction of certain types of brain cells. Humans
lack a blood-brain barrier in the hypothalamus, which allows
excitotoxins to enter the brain and cause damage. Simply put, as
described in Dr. Russell Blaylock‘s book, Excitotoxins: The Taste
That Kills, they are exactly what they sound like: toxins that excite
your brain cells to death!
MSG. No strain of rat or mice is naturally obese, so the scientists
have to create them. They make these morbidly obese creatures by
injecting them with MSG when they are first born. The MSG triples
the amount of insulin the pancreas creates, causing rats to become
obese. MSG creates a lesion in the hypothalamus that correlates
with abnormal development, including obesity, short stature and
sexual reproduction problems. MSG has also been shown to kill
brain cells as well as to cause nausea, vomiting, migraine headaches,
depression, and heart problems. Unfortunately, MSG is often
disguised under other names, thus you may not be able to detect it
in a list of ingredients.
Some synonyms for MSG are “Glutamate Textured Protein” or
“Glutamic Acid Yeast Extract” or “Gelatin Yeats Nutrient” or
“Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein.” They hide MSG under many
different names in order to fool those who catch on. Food companies
learned that MSG could increase the flavor and aroma and enhance
acceptability of commercial food products, so it is doubtful that they
will ever quit using this brain killing additive to our food supply.
Take a quick trip to your kitchen and check the pantry and the
fridge. You will realize that MSG is in everything! The soups, the
chips, the ramen, the hamburger helper, the gravy, the salad
dressings, the corn oil, the broth, and so on.
Aspartame (commonly called NutraSweet or Equal) is also an
excitotoxin, and it has been shown to erode intelligence and affect
Chapter 15 – “The Dirty Dozen” Cancer – Step Outside the Box
short-term memory. Believe it or not, aspartame was once on a
Pentagon list of biowarfare chemicals submitted to Congress! It is
made from two amino acids and methanol (wood alcohol).
Although test studies showed that it is extremely toxic to the brain,
the government suppressed this fact and it was officially approved as
a food additive for use in soft drinks in 1983. The FDA ignored
complaints of headaches, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, seizures,
convulsions, blurred vision, and a multitude of other negative
reactions to aspartame. We recently watched a documentary on
aspartame called Sweet Misery. It was amazing. You can see the
trailer for the DVD and also see the first 5 minutes of the movie
here: I will cover Aspartame in more
detail in Chapter 17.
rBGH / Sodium Nitrate
In 1994, Monsanto and the FDA introduced rBGH (recombinant
bovine growth hormone) into the market. This is a powerful
genetically engineered drug which, when injected into dairy cows,
will force them to produce up to 25% more milk. However, when a
cow is injected with rBGH, its milk production is stimulated, but not
directly. The presence of rBGH in the cow’s blood stimulates
production of another hormone, called Insulin-Like Growth Factor
(IGF). It is IGF that stimulates milk production.
IGF is a naturally occurring hormone-protein in both cows and
humans. Numerous studies have shown that the IGF in cows is
chemically identical to the IGF in humans. The use of rBGH
increases the levels of IGF in the cow’s milk, and the IGF is not
destroyed by pasteurization. Since IGF is active in humans (it causes
cells to divide), an increase in IGF in milk raises obvious questions as
to whether it will cause inappropriate cell division and growth,
leading to growth of tumors.
Since its emergence on the market in 1994, every industrialized
country in the world (except for the U.S.) has banned rBGH. The
fact of the matter is that rBGH was never adequately tested before
Chapter 15 – “The Dirty Dozen” Cancer – Step Outside the Box
the FDA allowed it on the market. A standard test of new
biochemically produced products and animal drugs requires 24
months of testing with several hundred rats. But rBGH was tested
for only 90 days on 30 rats. This short term rat study was submitted
to the FDA but never published. The FDA refused to allow anyone
outside that agency to review the raw data from this truncated
study, saying it would “irreparably harm” Monsanto.
In February of 1997, two veteran news reporters for Fox TV in
Tampa, Florida, were fired for refusing to water down an
investigation reporting that rBGH may promote cancer in humans
who drink milk from rBGH treated cows. Monsanto pressured Fox
TV to water down the series, offering to pay the two reporters if
they would leave the station and keep silent about their report, but
they refused and were fired. On April 2, 1998, they filed their own
lawsuit against the TV station. After a 5 week trial and 6 hours of
deliberation which ended August 18, 2000, a Florida state court jury
unanimously determined that Fox “acted intentionally and
deliberately to falsify or distort the plaintiffs’ news reporting on
rBGH.” The jury awarded $425,000 in damages. Why was Monsanto
so determined to keep the reporters quiet?
Here’s why. In 1998, Canadian scientists managed to acquire the full
Monsanto studies for the first time. They were stunned to find out
that the FDA never even looked at Monsanto’s original data on
which the agency’s approval had been based. In reviewing the data,
the scientists learned that Monsanto’s “secret” studies showed that
rBGH was linked to prostate cancer and thyroid cancer in laboratory
rats! Sadly, despite clear evidence that Monsanto and the FDA have
suppressed and manipulated information on genetically modified
milk since the early 1990s, most milk in your local supermarkets has
been produced from cows injected with rBGH.
Sodium nitrate (NaNO3) and its close relative sodium nitrite
(NaNO2) are preservatives that you find in lots of processed meats.
Stuff like salami, hot dogs, pepperoni, bologna, ham, bacon (even
turkey bacon), livestock feed (yet another reason to only eat grassChapter
15 – “The Dirty Dozen” Cancer – Step Outside the Box
fed beef), and SPAM all normally contain sodium nitrate as one of
the ingredients. It’s the ingredient that gives these meats that pretty
“reddish-pink” color rather than their natural rotten grey. It makes
meats appear “fresh” even if they’ve been on the shelves for months.
Almost all processed meats are made with sodium nitrite, despite the
fact that it is a precursor to cancer causing chemicals called
nitrosamines. An enormous amount of evidence indicates that
nitrosamines are human carcinogens. For instance, tobacco-specific
nitrosamines are one of the major groups of chemical carcinogens in
tobacco products. Just remember, when you eat bologna or
pepperoni or bacon, you are also eating sodium nitrite, which forms
nitrosamines, which promotes the growth of cancer cells. Back in
the 1970s, the USDA attempted to ban sodium nitrite but failed due
to lobbying efforts of meat processing industry.
Want some statistics? The University of Hawaii conducted a study
on almost 200,000 people and lasted seven years. The results of the
research indicated that people who consumed processed meats (such
as hot dogs and sausage) had a 6700% increased risk of pancreatic
cancer over those who consumed little or no meat products.
( Now, I’m not saying that meat
products are bad, as we will look at grass-fed beef later in the book.
But processed meats and meats from rBGH cows…they’re terrible!
One of the reasons is sodium nitrite. And this is just the tip of the
According to most health professionals, soy beans are the most
versatile, natural, heart-friendly, health-improving foods on earth.
Soy is the largest cash crop in the United States, and it is being
touted as having a myriad of health benefits. But according to Dr.
William Wong, “Soy is poison, period!” In his article entitled “Soy:
The Poison Seed” (,
Dr. Wong describes several reasons why soy is poison. Soy contains
two isoflavones (estrogen like substances) which are basically built
Chapter 15 – “The Dirty Dozen” Cancer – Step Outside the Box
in insecticides for the soybean. He asks, “If they kill bugs, are they
good for humans?” Hmmmmm…… Good point.
According to lipid (fat) specialist and nutritionist Mary Enig, PhD,
“The reason there’s so much soy in America is because they [the soy
industry] started to plant soy to extract the oil from it and soy oil
became a very large industry. Once they had as much oil as they did
in the food supply they had a lot of soy protein residue left over, and
since they can’t feed it to animals, except in small amounts, they had
to find another market.”
And another market was what they found: the unsuspecting
American public. To put it simply, after millions and millions of
dollars spent on advertising, a propaganda campaign that makes
Hitler look like a rank amateur, and intense lobbying to the FDA,
approximately 74% of American consumers now believe soy
products are healthy.
If you’re thinking the health claims surrounding soy sound too good
to be true you just may be right. Soy contains phytin, which
removes essential minerals such as iron, zinc, and magnesium before
they can be absorbed. Soy also contains trypsin inhibitors –
remember trypsin is essential in the recognition and digestion of
both proteins and cancer cells. Beyond these, soybeans also contain
hemagglutinin, a clot promoting substance that causes red blood
cells to clump together. These clustered blood cells are unable to
properly absorb oxygen for distribution to the body’s tissues.
According to Dr. Tim O’Shea, “Yet another toxin found in some
processed soy products is aluminum, which is said to be 10 times
higher in infant soy formulas than in milk-based formulas--and 100
times higher than in unprocessed milk. Levels are even higher when
soy products are hydrogenated. Aluminum, a cause of Alzheimer’s,
can also damage the newly forming kidneys of an infant who drinks
soy formula. Worse yet, aluminum can directly damage the infant
brain because the blood-brain barrier has not formed yet. Processed
soy can also contain a known carcinogen called lysinoalanine. It is a
Chapter 15 – “The Dirty Dozen” Cancer – Step Outside the Box
by-product of a processing step called alkaline soaking, which is
done to attempt to eliminate enzyme inhibitors. Even though the
beans are thoroughly rinsed, the lysinoalanine by-product can
remain from the interaction of the soybeans with the alkaline
The bottom line on soy is this: Soybeans are not a complete protein,
are not a natural food, contain several harmful and even
carcinogenic substances, and most soybeans in the United States are
genetically modified. According to Dr. Wong, “any opinions to
contradict the facts noted above have been paid for by the
agribusiness giants Monsanto and Archer Daniels Midland. Once
public knowledge of their manipulation of public opinion and of the
FDA becomes widely known, expect monster class action lawsuits
against these folks. They’ll deserve it in spades!” You can read
much, much more about soy in Chapter 22.
“Terrible Toxins”
The toxins listed in this section are everywhere, so watch out! In all
actuality, an entire book could be devoted to environmental and
food toxins, but I have chosen just to mention a few of the most
common toxins. A study in the February 21, 2004 British Medical
Journal estimated that 75% of most cancers are caused by
environmental and lifestyle factors, including exposure to chemicals.
More than 30 million tons of asbestos in its various forms have been
mined in the past century. Asbestos is one of the most pervasive
environmental hazards in the world, present in more than 3,000
manufactured products. It was widely used from the 1950s to 1970s.
Asbestos is actually a family of minerals that can be spun into fibers
and then woven into cloth. Due to this fact, it will not burn, thus it
Chapter 15 – “The Dirty Dozen” Cancer – Step Outside the Box
has been used heavily in the insulation industry as a fire retardant.
Problems arise when the material becomes old and crumbly,
releasing fibers into the air and then inhaled into our lungs.
Asbestos won’t burn, neither will it dissolve once inside the body.
So, the fibers get caught in the lungs and other organs and irritate
the tissues and cause lesions and eventually scarring.
There are three diseases that are triggered by inhaling asbestos
fibers: asbestosis, mesothelioma, and lung cancer. Asbestosis is
caused when asbestos fibers are inhaled and become trapped in the
lungs. In response, the body tries to dissolve the fibers by producing
an acid. While not destroying the fibers, the acid serves to scar the
lung tissue. Eventually the scarring can become so severe that the
lungs become unable to function. The time from exposure to the
manifestation of asbestosis in most patients is between 25 and 40
years. Mesothelioma is a cancer of the outside tissue of the lungs.
This cancer is solely linked to asbestos. The time from exposure to
manifestation of mesothelioma is from 15 to 35 years. Cancer of the
lungs can also be caused by exposure to asbestos. The exposure to
manifestation period for lung cancer from asbestos exposure is also
from 15 to 35 years.
The major sources of asbestos are insulation on floors, ceilings,
heating ducts, and water pipes from the 1950s to the 1970s. Even
though the use of asbestos in office buildings ceased over 30 years,
millions of office workers are still working in older buildings which
contain asbestos insulation. I have heard estimates that over 50% of
the skyscrapers in America still contain asbestos! If September 11th
wasn’t a bad enough disaster, there have been concerns about a
possible asbestos cover up by the EPA and the government during
the cleanup of the World Trade Center in New York. In fact, the
U.S. is one of the few nations that have not yet placed a ban on
asbestos – it is still an ingredient in thousands of U.S. products.
That’s right, amazingly, despite the known health risks, asbestos has
not been banned in the U.S.
Chapter 15 – “The Dirty Dozen” Cancer – Step Outside the Box
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) abandoned its
attempts to ban asbestos products in 1979, passing the responsibility
to the EPA. In 1989, the EPA attempted a ban of its own, but in
1991, the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned it. Insidious
and deadly, asbestos has worked its way through the “cracks” of the
consumer protection system for almost 30 years. As a result,
asbestos is still lodged deep in the tissue of American commerce, and
almost no one is paying attention. Despite the fact that health
experts expect the asbestos to claim another 250,000 lives in the U.S.
during the next several decades, asbestos is still being an ingredient
in a multitude of everyday products ranging from brake pads to
ceiling tiles. Imports of products containing asbestos are also on the
rise. The bottom line is that virtually every man, woman, and child
has been exposed to asbestos, due to its pervasiveness. Only time will
tell the deleterious health effects which result from this dangerous
Fluoride is added to the water supply of most American cities for the
ostensible purpose of dental hygiene. Contrary to popular opinion,
fluoride doesn’t stop tooth decay at all, but actually causes teeth to
rot and crumble. It is actually a neurotoxic industrial waste that
causes birth defects, cancer, and osteoporosis. It damages the
immune, digestive, and respiratory systems as well as the kidneys,
liver, brain, and thyroid.
Science shows fluoride is more toxic than lead (Clinical Toxicology
of Commercial Products, 1984). There are more than 500 peer
reviewed studies documenting adverse effects of fluoride ranging
from cancer to brain damage. And yet, municipalities throughout
the United States actually purchase this product and then drip it into
the public water supply. According to Dr. Charles G. Heyd, former
President of the AMA, “I am appalled at the prospect of using water
as a vehicle for drugs. Fluoride is a corrosive poison that will
produce serious effects on a long range basis. Any attempt to use
water this way is deplorable.”
Chapter 15 – “The Dirty Dozen” Cancer – Step Outside the Box
There is no scientific evidence that fluoride is a beneficial additive to
water, and in fact that there is overwhelming scientific evidence
that proves, without a doubt, that fluoride is harmful! The bottom
line is that all federal health agencies have known these facts for
years, but have been controlled by the political interests of the
nuclear arms, aluminum, and phosphate manufacturers to keep it a
secret. I suggest that you read “50 Reasons to Oppose Fluoridation“
at It is an eye opener. I didn’t
spend much time elaborating on the dangers of fluoride in this
section, since I devote several pages to fluoride in Chapter 18.
Mercury (and other heavy metals)
Did you know that most of the fish we eat contains mercury? Why?
Thousands of tons of mercury are released into the air each year
through pollution and waste. Eventually, it accumulates in steams,
oceans, water and soil. It also accumulates in the food chain, so each
fish absorbs the mercury in other fish and organisms it eats. The
bigger the fish, the more mercury it absorbs. Shark, swordfish,
tilefish, mackerel, sea bass, marlin, halibut, oysters, salmon, and tuna
contain the highest levels of methylmercury.
According to Dr. Joseph Mercola, “Methylmercury toxicity can
result in paraesthesia, depression, and blurred vision. In fetuses and
developing infants it can also have negative effects on attention
span, language, visual-spatial skills, memory and coordination. It is
estimated that nearly 60,000 children each year are born at risk for
neurological problems due to methylmercury exposure in the
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued health
advisories about consuming fish due to mercury contamination. The
“Got Mercury? Calculator” at can help you
decide how much, and what type, of seafood is safe for you and your
family. Just enter your weight, the seafood type and quantity, and
hit the calculator button. The online calculator will tell you whether
your consumption exceeds the EPA’s safe limit for mercury.
Chapter 15 – “The Dirty Dozen” Cancer – Step Outside the Box
What about those mercury fillings in your mouth? Mercury
amalgam “silver” dental fillings, contain approximately 50%
mercury. Initially, the American Dental Association (ADA) denied
that mercury from these fillings leaked vapor, which is then
absorbed into our bodies. But, in recent years, facing numerous
studies to the contrary, the ADA has conceded that mercury fillings
do leak mercury vapor, one of the most toxic substances known to
man. Did you know that the metallic mercury used by dentists to
manufacture dental amalgam is shipped as a hazardous material to
the dental office? Did you know that when mercury fillings are
removed, they are treated as hazardous waste and are required to be
disposed of in accordance with federal OSHA regulations? Charlene
and I are in the process of getting all of our mercury fillings
removed. I recommend that you do the same. I will spend more time
on mercury in Chapter 20.
Like mercury, other heavy metals like arsenic, lead, aluminum, and
cadmium, which are prevalent in many areas of our environment,
can accumulate in soft tissues of the body and can cause a multitude
of degenerative diseases, including cancer. These heavy metals are
found in our drinking water, in fish, vaccinations, pesticides,
antiperspirants, building materials, and dental amalgams, just to
name a few sources.
Mycotoxins (fungal toxins)
Corn and Peanuts both contain mycotoxins, which are poisonous
substances produced by certain molds found primarily in grain and
nut crops. They are basically “fungus poisons” which cause a wide
range of health problems in humans. Corn is commonly
contaminated with fumonisin and other fungal toxins such as
aflatoxin and fumonisin (both known for their cancer-causing
effects). A 1993 study demonstrated 24 different types of fungi
found in peanuts, including aflatoxin, the most carcinogenic
substance known to man. (Costantini, A. “Etiology and Prevention
of Atherosclerosis” Fungalbionics Series 1998/99).
Chapter 15 – “The Dirty Dozen” Cancer – Step Outside the Box
Mushrooms not only contain mycotoxins, they basically are
mycotoxins. Mushrooms are not vegetables, but rather the fruiting
body of a fungus. According to Dr. Robert Young, “Don’t eat them,
don’t drink them, don’t sniff them. Mushrooms contain varying
amounts of amanitin, the mycotoxin in all mushrooms. Eating in
small amounts it will kill you slowly. In larger amounts, it will kill
you almost instantly.” (Sick and Tired, page 91)
After the terrorist attacks of 9-11, we began to study bioterrorism
agents (such as the fungal-derived toxin “Yellow Rain”). In January
of 2002, a simple article entitled “Mycotoxins“ by Dr. Ruth Etzel was
published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. This
article did more than educate us about chemical warfare. It took the
topic of mycotoxins a step further, saying that these harmful
chemicals are not just found on the front lines of battle grounds, but
are just as easily found on our playgrounds.
And even more alarmingly, they are in foods that we eat every day.
In her January 2002 JAMA article, Dr. Etzel states that “the primary
concern in developed countries is the long-term effects of ingesting
food contaminated with low levels of mycotoxins.” She also states
that carcinogenic toxins like aflatoxin are a “common contaminant
of peanuts, soybeans, grains and cassava.” According to the National
Health Institute (1/4/2004), “From the beginning of organized crop
production through present-day agriculture, mycotoxins (toxic
secondary metabolites of fungi) have presented health risks to both
human and animal populations, including pain, convulsions,
hallucinations, respiratory effects, and death.”
Organochlorines (chlorine byproducts)
Chlorine gas was a weapon used in both world wars and is a
neurotoxin so poisonous that it was outlawed by international war
codes. It cannot be screened out by our lungs, goes in faster than
oxygen, is immediately absorbed into the bloodstream when it is
inhaled, and if the concentration is adequate, death is instantaneous.
As molecular biologist Joe Thornton explains, “There are no uses of
Chapter 15 – “The Dirty Dozen” Cancer – Step Outside the Box
chlorine which we regard as safe.” Yet chlorination, considered one
of the greatest advances ever in public health and hygiene, is almost
universally accepted as the method of choice for purifying water
Most drinking water in the U.S. comes from a surface water source,
that is, a lake or river. These lakes and rivers are typically rich in
invisible organic matter produced by decaying leaves and algae.
During disinfection, chlorine randomly attaches to this organic
matter to form thousands of new chemicals called “organochlorines.”
Organochlorine compounds are not found naturally anywhere in the
world, but once they are formed by combining chlorine with
organic materials, they are extremely toxic and very stable. Most of
them don’t break down for hundreds of years.
Organochlorines are easily absorbed into our bodies and are
lipophilic (stored in our fat cells) where they accumulate. According
to molecular biologist Joe Thornton, “chlorination virtually always
increases toxicity.” A growing number of studies have linked
chlorinated drinking water to cancer in humans. The most esteemed
cancer study is a compilation of 10 separate epidemiological studies
on chlorinated drinking water and cancer known at the Morris
study. It found disinfection by-products in chlorinated water to be
responsible for 9% of all bladder cancers and 15% of rectal cancers
in the U.S. This translates into 10,000 additional deaths per year for
just these two organs. According to the U.S. Council of
Environmental Quality, “Cancer risk among people drinking
chlorinated water is 93% higher than among those whose water does
not contain chlorine.” Prolonged exposure has also been shown to
produce birth defects, immune system problems, and reproductive
Although water disinfection accounts for only a small percentage of
total global organochlorine production, the effect on human health
is proportionately greater because exposure to chlorinated drinking
water is large and continuous. It is piped right into our homes. But
organochlorines in our drinking water are just the tip of the iceberg!
Chapter 15 – “The Dirty Dozen” Cancer – Step Outside the Box
The most toxic organochorine is dioxin, which is the most
carcinogenic chemical known to man! The EPA considers dioxin to
be 300,000 times more carcinogenic than DDT. No level of dioxin is
considered safe.
A draft report released for public comment in September 1994 by
the U.S. EPA clearly describes dioxin as a serious public health
threat. Dioxin is formed as a result of combustion processes such as
commercial or municipal waste incineration, from burning fuels
(like wood, coal or oil), and from the paper and plastic production
industries. In 1997, the International Agency for Research on
Cancer, which is part of the World Health Organization, announced
that the most potent dioxin is a now considered a Group 1
carcinogen, meaning a “known human carcinogen.”
In addition to cancer, dioxins can cause reproductive and
developmental disorders, liver damage, chloracne, skin rashes, skin
discoloration, etc. The major sources of dioxins are animal fats. Since
dioxins are fat-soluble, they bioaccumulate, climbing up the food
chain. A typical American will receive 93% of his/her dioxin
exposure from meat and dairy products. In fish, these toxins
bioaccumulate up the food chain so that dioxin levels in fish are
100,000 times that of the surrounding environment. The main
sources of dioxin are the paper production industry, the plastic
production industry, and incinerators than burn chlorinated waste.
Recent scientific research has clearly demonstrated an association
between organochlorines and breast cancer. Analyses of the breast
fat of women with breast cancer found that DDT, its derivative
DDE, PCBs, and other organochlorine pollutants actually
concentrate in the cancer tissue itself, in contrast with surrounding
non-cancerous tissue. Organochlorines are not only often overtly
toxic, but they also possess estrogenic activity. In other words, they
mimic estrogen. Chemicals that function like estrogen are called
xenoestrogens (literally “foreign estrogens”) and wreck havoc in a
number of ways. A woman’s earliest and most dangerous contact
with them may be in the womb. Xenoestrogens have been linked to
Chapter 15 – “The Dirty Dozen” Cancer – Step Outside the Box
breast cancer as well as an increase in reproductive abnormalities in
males, including prostate cancer and testicular cancer.
Pesticides (herbicides, fungicides, & insecticides)
Do you still think that the fruit you are eating is safe? Think again. A
recent study from the U.K. indicates that pesticide residues on some
common fruits are unusually high. Some apples, pears, raspberries,
and grapes contained pesticide residues that exceeded the legal
limits. Cherries, lettuce, and pumpkins all contained potentially
dangerous levels of toxic pesticide residues as well. And the produce
wasn’t just from one area – it originated from all over the world
from Brazil to Spain to Canada.
So remember that when you reach for that luscious fruit at the
grocery you may be inadvertently feeding your kiddos pesticides as
well. Fruits and vegetables that are heavily sprayed include
strawberries, cantaloupe, bell peppers, peaches, nectarines, celery,
potatoes, carrots, and imported grapes. What commercially grown
fruits are relatively safe? Blueberries, grapefruit, bananas, broccoli,
mangos, cauliflower, avocados, asparagus, onions, California grapes
(in season), citrus, pineapple, and melons.
According to the EPA, 60% of herbicides, 90% of fungicides and
30% of insecticides are known to be carcinogenic. Alarmingly,
pesticide residues have been detected in over half of U.S. foods.
Most pesticides contain multiple toxins, and there is no class of
pesticide which is free of cancer causing potential. The most
convincing evidence that pesticides are carcinogens comes from
epidemiological studies. The common lawn pesticide 2,4-D (“Weed-
B-Gone“) has been shown to increase the risk of lymphatic cancer in
farmers 6 times the normal rate, according to a National Cancer
Institute report (Sinclair, W. 18 “Studies Show Why Pesticides Are
More Dangerous than Previously Realized”). Scientists believe that
the use of lawn chemicals such as 2,4-D has been a significant factor
in the 50% rise in non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma over the past 20 years
in the American population. (World Health Org., 2,4-D
Chapter 15 – “The Dirty Dozen” Cancer – Step Outside the Box
Environmental Aspects. Geneva, Switzerland, 1989.) The pesticide
2,4-D has also been linked to malignant lymphoma in dogs. Pets are
exposed to higher doses of pesticides because they are closer to the
ground where concentrations are the highest. Studies show that the
risk of lymphomas doubled in dogs whose owners treated lawns 4
times per year.
In 1983 the National Cancer Institute studied 3,827 Florida pesticide
applicators who had been spraying for more than 20 years. They
found that these pesticide applicators had nearly 3 times the risk of
developing lung cancer and 2 times the risk of developing brain
cancer. There was no increased risk for pesticide applicators who
had been spraying for only 5 years. (Journal of the NCI, July 1983.)
Beginning in the late 1970s, there have been multiple reports linking
pesticides to leukemia (blood cancer) in children. A 1987 study by
the NCI showed that children living in pesticide-treated homes had
nearly a 4 times greater risk of developing leukemia. If the children
lived in homes where pesticide was sprayed on lawns and gardens,
the risk of developing leukemia was 6.5 times greater. (Dr. John
Peters, USC, Journal of the NCI, July 1987.)
Ever heard of Atrazine? Atrazine is a powerful herbicide applied to
over 70% of America’s cornfields. Traces of the chemical routinely
turn up in American streams and wells and even in the rain, and
residues of Atrazine are frequently found in our food supply. So
what? Well, this toxic chemical, which was recently banned by the
European Union, is a suspected carcinogen and endocrine disruptor
that has been linked to low sperm counts among farmers. As a
matter of fact, Tyrone Hayes, a herpetologist at UC Berkeley, while
doing research on behalf of Syngenta (Atrazine’s manufacturer),
found that even at concentrations as low as 0.1 part per billion,
Atrazine will chemically emasculate a male frog, causing its gonads
to produce eggs, in effect, turning males into hermaphrodites.
In an article entitled “The Way We Live Now” (published in the
6/4/06 NY Times), author Michael Pollen comments, “Atrazine is
Chapter 15 – “The Dirty Dozen” Cancer – Step Outside the Box
often present in American waterways at much higher concentrations
than 0.1 part per billion. But American regulators generally won’t
ban a pesticide until the bodies, or cancer cases, begin to pile up -
until, that is, scientists can prove the link between the suspect
molecule and illness in humans or ecological catastrophe. So
Atrazine is, at least in the American food system, deemed innocent
until proved guilty – a standard of proof extremely difficult to
achieve, since it awaits the results of chemical testing on humans
that we, rightly, don’t perform. I don’t know about you, but as the
father of an adolescent boy, I sort of like the idea of keeping such a
molecule out of my son’s diet…”
Contrary to popular belief, industrial chemicals in consumer
products are essentially unregulated in the U.S. Except for
chemicals added directly to food, there is no legal requirement for
health and safety testing or human exposure monitoring for any
chemical in commerce. The same chemicals, ironically, are often
tightly regulated as pollutants.
For example, phthalates are a class of widely used industrial
compounds that have crept into widespread use over the last several
decades because of their many beneficial chemical properties. These
chemicals are used to lengthen the life of fragrances and soften
plastics. About 4 million tons of phthalates are produced worldwide
each year. Phthalates are recognized as toxic substances under
environmental law, but companies are free to use unlimited amounts
in cosmetics.
Some common phthalates and the products which contain them:
􀂾 Di-ethyl phthalate (DEP): Toothbrushes, auto parts, tools,
toys, food packaging, insecticides, mosquito repellents,
aspirin, nail polish, perfumes, hair sprays.
Chapter 15 – “The Dirty Dozen” Cancer – Step Outside the Box
􀂾 Di-n-butyl phthalate (DBP): Cellulose plastics, solvents for
dyes, solvents for cosmetics, nail polish, food wrap,
perfumes, skin emollients, hair spray, insect repellents.
􀂾 Benzyl butyl phthalate (BBP): Plasticizers in adhesives, PVC
flooring, wood finishes, biodegradable tampon ejectors
That new car smell, which is especially strong after the car has been
sitting in the sun for a few hours, is the odor of phthalates
precipitating from a hot plastic dashboard. Then, when it cools
down in the evening, the phthalates condense to form an oily
coating on the inside of the windshield. Interestingly, an
environmental release of just 10 pounds of DBP must be reported to
environmental authorities under the Superfund law. However, the
cosmetics industry puts thousands of tons of DBP into nail polish
each year, with no requirements for safety testing or reporting to
But “why?” you may ask. Many pivotal court decisions
implementing the 1976 Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) have
basically “hamstrung” the EPA. You see, the EPA must prove an
“unreasonable risk of injury” to human health before it can remove a
chemical from the market. However, they cannot prove
unreasonable risk of injury without first conducting safety studies,
which are expressly prohibited until “substantial” or “significant”
exposure is proved to be occurring. So, it’s an endless loop, since the
FDA can almost never prove that substantial or significant exposures
are occurring because exposure data is extremely difficult to obtain.
To put it simply, the EPA cannot regulate a chemical until it makes a
finding of risk based on data which the law virtually prohibits it
from collecting. This is absurd, isn’t it? The law also allows industry
to manufacture and sell new chemicals without conducting any
toxicity studies to determine if the chemicals are safe. After a
chemical enters the marketplace, there is no requirement for human
monitoring, even for those compounds to which people are
routinely exposed.
Chapter 15 – “The Dirty Dozen” Cancer – Step Outside the Box
Women who are pregnant, nursing or thinking about getting
pregnant should look for and avoid all personal care products with
the word phthalate on the label. The major sources of phthalates are
plastic wrap, plastic bottles, plastic food storage containers, nail
polish, and cosmetics. Phthalates have been shown to have
estrogenic qualities, have toxic effects on the testicles, and to cause
birth defects. They can also cause cancer, damage the endocrine
system, and are particularly dangerous to children.

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