I've often wondered why there were so many people stricken with cancer in Nova Scotia. It always seemed to me when I lived in the west, that you heard of people dying of other things besides cancer. But in Nova Scotia, if someone gets sick and dies, the usual suspect is cancer.
One idea, is that because of the prevailing winds, all the toxins generated by the industry in the mid-west United States, comes right up the bay with the tide, and is carried across the province. I suppose this could include a number of toxins, but one which is particularly carcinogenic is dioxins. This actually encompasses a broad class of compounds that vary widely in toxicity. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), people who are exposed to any amount of dioxin are at an increased risk for cancer. (1997)
According to an article by the Organic Consumers Association, it says:
Dioxin and related compounds have been found in significant levels in the food chain and people in the U.S. and other industrialized countries. The main source of such dioxin is emissions from incinerators(43). Dioxin has been found to be one of the most toxic and carcinogenic chemicals ever tested, and has been found to cause cancer, endocrine system and immune system damage, birth defects, learning disabilities, etc. Dioxin is being found at dangerous levels in cows milk, mother's milk, sperm cells, etc.- especially near incinerators. No studies were found that attempted to quantify the total cost of health effects due to dioxin, but studies indicate that impacts appear to be large and in the billions of dollars.
Dioxins are found in meat, poultry, fish and even in milk. In just six months of breast feeding, a baby in the U.S. will, on average, consume the EPA's maximum lifetime dose of dioxin.1 these toxins get passed on to humans from the plants animals eat. They are stored in the fatty tissues and then we n turn eat it. Then it stores in our fat, and creates a build-up.
Of course we are all digesting these poisons, but if you look through the Canadian Cancer Statistics for 2011, featuring a study on Colorectal Cancer, produced by the Canadian Cancer Society, it says, "The estimated incidence rates for all cancers combined continue to be highest for the maritime provinces and Quebec and lowest in British Columbia."2 It's easy enough to why this is, when you take the north-west prevailing winds into consideration. Based on current incidence rates, 40% of women and 45% of men in Canada will develop cancer during their lifetimes. But this expectancy increases the farther east you live.
Watch this interview with Dr. Linda Birnbaum, (EPA Toxicology Diviision Director) 2004
In a paper published by the Environmental Protection Agency, it says there are some measures we can take to limit our exposure. Though speculative, trimming fat from meat, consuming low-fat dairy products, and simply cooking food may eventually decrease the body burden of dioxin compounds. Also, a balanced diet (including adequate amounts of fruits, vegetables and cereals) will help to avoid excessive exposure from a single source. However, the ability of consumers to mitigate their own exposure is limited. It is the role of national governments to monitor the safety of the food supply and to take action to protect public health.3
From another article I wrote, Our Groceries are Poisoned you can see that the North American Governments aren't really taking an active role in protecting consumers from toxic chemicals in our foods. The answer is blowing in the wind with the dioxins.
2 Canadian Cancer Society 2011 study