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ASCP Lends Expertise to Cancer Prevention Movement

Monday, September 10, 2012

Question: What type of kid-friendly meal actually puts children at increased risk of developing childhood leukemia?
Macaroni and cheese;
Hot dogs;
Peanut butter and jelly; or
Chicken fingers?

Answer: Hot dogs.

Question: What hazardous substance can be found in a range of cosmetic products including sunscreens, foundations, nail colors, lipsticks, and whitening tooth pastes?
Arsenic; or

Answer: Lead.

The average consumer is unaware of the cancer risks that some ordinary household products pose.

That is why the ASCP is supporting Cancer Schmancer, a celebrity-driven, nationwide initiative working to heighten public awareness about carcinogens that are used in everything from cleaning supplies and cosmetics, to fire retardant in children’s clothing. Activities under the “Trash Cancer” name are part of the Cancer Schmancer Movement, founded by Fran Drescher.

“ASCP is excited to participate in this innovative program, which focuses on cancer prevention, control, and diagnosis. It arms consumers with the information they need to make healthy lifestyle choices.”
—Dr. E. Blair Holladay, ASCP Executive Vice President
“ASCP is excited to participate in this innovative program, which focuses on cancer prevention, control, and diagnosis,” said Dr. E. Blair Holladay, ASCP Executive Vice President. “It arms consumers with the information they need to make healthy lifestyle choices.”

On Sept. 29, Trash Cancer is organizing 1,000 in-home parties across the country to educate hosts and their guests about the array of toxic chemicals that are legally used in household products. “We have reached out through social media and our different partners,” said Laurie Meadoff, CEO of Cancer Schmancer.

The first 1,000 individuals who signed up to host a party will receive a box with a party guide, Cancer Schmancer trivia cards, and a DVD hosted by Fran Drescher. The party guide takes the host through the party planning, step by step. Those who want to host a party, but who are not among the first 1,000 to sign up, may download the trivia cards and the party guide from the website,

The in-home parties will include games with trivia questions written on note cards. For example: Bisphenol A (BPA) was detected in 16 of 20 liquid baby formula samples tested by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. True or false? (True.)

ASCP was asked to provide scientific expertise to ensure that the answer to each question is valid. “We added credibility for all of the fact cards by looking in published scientific journals to find direct link to cancer,” said Edna Garcia, ASCP Manager of Scientific Engagement and Research, who did the fact-checking for the trivia cards. “We needed to be able to show that they really can cause cancer.”

Of the organizations that are involved in the Trash Cancer program, ASCP is a key partner that brings strong scientific expertise to the table. “Our members are viewed as potential experts who might participate in these parties to lend some health expertise to the event,” Dr. Holladay said.

ASCP members who are interested in serving as an expert for the Trash Cancer parties may visit the ASCP website for more information. An announcement about the Trash Cancer program will be posted on the website throughout September.

Trash Cancer will send each party host a pre-event questionnaire to test their awareness of carcinogens in household products and will follow up with a post-event questionnaire to all participants. “We hope to build a community online on Facebook and Twitter so that people can share their knowledge and commitment to this cause,” Meadoff said.

Already, more than 1,000 individuals have signed up to host a party on Sept. 29. After the initial round of parties, Trash Cancer leaders hope the movement will gain even more momentum. Meanwhile, consumers can check the safety of their household products at