Huntington breast cancer action coalition collaboration with local HS seniors

HBCAC conducted various educational sessions with students at a local high school about environmental health and identifying issues that were important to them. Through the sessions, two students named Sarah and Angel took it one step further to collaborate with HBCAC's Melanie Gabrell and Subhana Zafar outside of the sessions. Together, the team uncovered the science of two topics that were important to the girls and created both a written and visual tool in the form of a video to convey the important messages they had to share. Check out the written work and video below!

The Detrimental Effects of 9/11

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There are various in fact thousands of diseases in the world, but there is one extraordinary horrible family of diseases called cancer. Cancer is a group of various similar diseases that all have to do with cells that are not normal,  develop rapidly and kill off healthy cells. Despite the normal cells, cancer cells just continue to grow and spiral out of control. They do not die when they are supposed to die like normal cells do.

On September 11, 2001, thousands of people were exposed to cancer causing agents. There has been a growing worry over the health effects arising from the September 11 attack on the financial district in lower Manhattan. During the collapse of the World Trade Center building materials, electronic equipment and furniture were burned and the pollution spread over the area. Following the attacks, dust from the burning buildings continued to fill the air of the site. Ordinary winds and breezes spread the harmful particles to the surrounding area. To this day, there are growing numbers of individuals who are reporting symptoms of the Ground Zero repertory illness.

For example, my dad worked at Ground Zero from the day that it happened until three weeks after on the Search and Rescue line. Six years later, my dad was diagnosed with throat cancer called Plasmacytoma. Through many months of radiation and agony, he has finally reached the 10 year mark for being in remission.  To this day, the World Trade Center Health Program provides testing and treatment to the 9/11 responders and survivors who suffer from cancer and other related illnesses from the toxic dust.  Unfortunately people are still suffering and dying from the tragic loss of 9/11. Some of the pollutants partials were as small as 1/7 the width of a human hair. The world Health Organization said that air pollution is the leading cause of cancer  (Reuters Report). Most pollution is caused by fossil fuels and the rapid industrialization of countries.

Sarah, 2018


The Problem With Pesticides

Pesticide use and its health issues has been a big problem in the US for a long time. The problem is little is stopping it from happening. We know, as Americans, that these pesticides are bad for us; we have just turned a blind eye.

In the article "Everyday Health" by Dennis Thompson Jr, Doctor Jorge Chavarro discusses the effects of pesticides on fertility. Dr. Jorge states, "Women are less likely to reproduce if they are large amounts of fruits and vegetables known to have high levels of pesticide residue." He continues, "Exposure to pesticide laved products has been associated with lower semen quality in men." When Dr. Chavarro conducted his research with his team, they found that "women who ate most pesticide laced produce were 18% less likely to become pregnant, but women who swapped a serving of high-pesticide produce for a fruit or vegetable with less pesticide residue increased their chances of getting pregnant by 79%." These are just the effects that have to do with pregnancy and fertility.

In another article called "Pesticide Action Network UK" more of the long term effects are discussed. The article states, "Low doses don't always cause immediate effects, but over time, they can cause very serious illnesses. Long term pesticide exposure has been linked to the development of Parkinson's disease, asthma, depression, anxiety, cancer (including leukemia and non-Hodgkins lymphoma), and ADHD." We need these hormones to regulate different body functions, but these body functions are being interrupted by the chemicals in the pesticides. The articles states, "The endocrine effects can be activated by very low concentrations of chemicals, and they can manifest as early puberty, cysts in ovaries, uterus anomalies, breast cancer, diabetes, obesity, thyroid tumors, etc..." Those are just a few of the complications that can happen when your body ingests these endocrine disruptors.

My last article is "Potential Health Effects of Pesticides" by Penn State University that discusses acute and chronic toxicity. " The four routes of exposures that cause acute effects are the dermal, inhalation, oral, and the eyes." The article continues, " The symptoms of pesticide poisoning can range from a mild skin irritation to coma or even death, the effects, or symptoms, o pesticide poisoning can be broadly defined as either topical or systemic. Dermatitis or inflammation of the skin is accepted as the most commonly reported topical effect associated with pesticide exposure. Symptoms of dermatitis range from reddening of the skin to rashes and or blisters. Some individuals tend to cough, sneeze, or wheeze when exposed to pesticide sprays. One symptom is that the eyes, mucus membranes of the nose, and even the sensitive linings of the mouth and back of the throat feel raw and scratchy." This article also says that "acute toxicity is determine by examining the dermal toxicity, inhalation toxicity, and oral toxicity of test animals, and the chronic toxicity of a pesticide is determined by subjecting test animals to long-term exposure to the active ingredient."

After hearing all these side effects, do you still feel the same about your groceries or will you check them more often before you buy?

Angel, 2018