Can­cer in our homes

Consumer Voice - - Editor's Voice - Padma

It is a re­al­i­sa­tion that I wish to share with you all. It has been about three years now that I have been edit­ing this mag­a­zine. So, by now I should be able to boast about be­ing a su­per aware and con­scious consumer. How­ever, the fact is that with each is­sue I get to learn about some­thing. There are facts backed with ev­i­dence which leave me amazed and won­der­ing why they are not be­ing talked about in the main­stream me­dia. For in­stance, there are about a hundred things around us that can cause can­cer and we have to be aware about them, but no pub­lic/mass medium talks much about them. (No, there isn’t a Face­book cam­paign on this, leave alone a page.)

Let me give you an ex­am­ple. Un­til a few is­sues ago, I had no idea about the deadly agents in paints and their po­tency to cause can­cer. CV’s find­ings re­vealed that al­most ev­ery paint brand bar­ring a few big names were pro­duc­ing paints with chem­i­cals that were car­cino­genic. Now I have de­cided to dou­ble-check the list of paint brands be­fore re­paint­ing my house. A thought that would have never oc­curred to me had I not been alerted by the find­ings.

A few is­sues ear­lier, while re­search­ing upon some prod­ucts that were banned in the United States and the United King­dom but were be­ing sold in In­dia, I learnt that plas­tic toys, es­pe­cially Chi­nese dis­cards, were of such a low qual­ity that most of them were full of car­cino­gens ca­pa­ble of caus­ing can­cer in chil­dren. Ever since, I am con­scious about buy­ing plas­tic for my daugh­ter. Thank­fully, she has also un­der­stood the sig­nif­i­cance of dis­card­ing plas­tic (en­vi­ron­men­tally and oth­er­wise) and is dis­card­ing her plas­tic toys grad­u­ally.

We even did a lit­tle story on ra­di­a­tions that were car­cino­genic. No, not the ra­di­a­tions that are be­ing em­anated by some satel­lite above, but those that orig­i­nate from your own mo­bile phone, the WiFi router, the Blue­tooth de­vice, the lap­top, the tele­vi­sion, the mu­sic sys­tem, and even the re­frig­er­a­tor and the wash­ing ma­chine. Again, there was noth­ing to do but feel amazed. Now, I avoid those long dis­cus­sions on phone and switch of the WiFi router (wish I could do that to the lap­top too) as many times as I can. Thank­fully, we do not have a tele­vi­sion (for rea­sons other than ra­di­a­tions).

In this is­sue we have listed 15 foods that are con­sid­ered to be car­cino­genic, which means they have can­cer-caus­ing sub­stances. I did not know about dozens of them un­til a few years ago. To be sure, I am not crib­bing, com­plain­ing, or ques­tion­ing, but sim­ply shar­ing a few can­cer­ous facts around us and a thought on how by be­ing more con­scious con­sumers, we can avoid un­ex­pected chaos in our lives. Ed­i­tor

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