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TWENTY+ THINGS YOU CAN DO to minimize your cancer risk


  1. Use sunscreen; reduce your exposure to UV radiation.
  2. Don't smoke or allow smoking in your home.
  3. Be physically active, eat fruits and vegetables, and minimize alcohol intake.
  4. Take off your (and your children's) shoes every time you enter the house to avoid tracking in pesticides from the outside.
  5. Test your basement for radioactive radon.
  6. Dispose of toxic products properly - at the Recycling Facility on Hazardous Waste Day.
  7. Read and understand the labels of all the products you buy.
  8. Avoid products containing formaldehyde, a suspected carcinogen, sometimes found in household products including spray starch, hair spray, deodorant and acrylic paints.


  1. Maintain your lawn using natural processes. Avoid using synthetic chemicals on your lawn like pesticides which usually contain possible carcinogens.
  2. Use (or ask pest management providers) for non-toxic pest control products. Avoid using pesticides and/or insecticides inside your home.
  3. Avoid strong solvents and glues, many of which may contain known carcinogens.
  4. Avoid products containing petroleum hydrocarbons and petroleum distillates, suspected carcinogens, found in gasoline, motor oils, benzene and charcoal lighter fluid.
  5. Use lumber that is not pressure treated with arsenic (CCA), a known carcinogen.


  1. Ask your dry cleaner to use current alternatives to traditional dry cleaning methods; avoid the use of perchloroethylene (a.k.a. perc or pbc).
  2. Use spot and carpet cleaners that do not include perchloroethylene or trichlorethelene, a suspected carcinogen.
  3. Use furniture and floor polish that does not include nitrobenzene which has been associated with cancer.
  4. Use cedar products to discourage moths; do not use moth balls.


  1. Use nail polish that does not contain the chemical 'Dibutyl Phthalate' (DBP), a possible carcinogen.
  2. Use non-chlorine bleach cleaners to avoid creating dioxin, a known carcinogen.


  1. Read the label on cleansers; many cleansers are known to contain potential carcinogens. If a product says 'CAUTION', 'WARNING' or 'HAZARD', look for a less toxic alternative.
  2. Use cleansers made from natural products or make your own with baking soda. Baking soda can be used to clean drains, toilet bowls, ovens, kitchen surfaces, bath tubs and tile surfaces.


  1. Purchase organic foods to avoid pesticide contamination to yourself, farmers and the environment.
  2. Limit your purchase of smoked or nitrate/nitrite treated foods (e.g. hot dogs).
  3. Purchase unbleached paper products; these products reduce the amount of dioxin (a known carcinogen) released into the environment.


  1. Thoroughly wash and peel non-organic produce, especially if it is waxed and/or dyed. Discard outer pieces of lettuce.
  2. Eat foods low in fat and/or trim fat from meat, fish and poultry where toxins are often stored.
  3. Microwave food products in microwavable containers; don't use plastic wraps.


One of the most important things you can do to minimize your risk of cancer is to understand where suspected and known carcinogens are found and to act in ways that will minimize your (and your communities') exposure to potential and real health threats. Check out the 'Learn More' section of this web site to educate yourself further.

Some simple steps you can achieve right now:

  1. Do Your Research - Read as much as you can on some aspect of protecting the environment that interests you. For instance, if you love to care for your yard, then read about how to care for your yard in an environmentally safe way. (Visit our links page for additional sites by topic)
  2. Talk About It - Share what you have learned with family, friends, neighbors... and see what they have discovered as well.
  3. Be An Advocate - Your neighbors' decisions could affect your family's health. Watch for pesticide flags on neighbors' lawns. If they are using toxic pesticides, consider sharing your concerns. The heath risks may not have occurred to them.
  4. Teach Your Children - You are their most significant role model when it comes to preserving the environment. Ask them for their ideas, and offer them a role... most children are quick to come up with good ideas on how to recycle or protect themselves and pets from danger.
  5. Check Us Out - The WCPP website will be continually updated with news and information. Visit often and refer a friend.

    For additional information or if you would like to be on our email mailing list, please send an email to: info@wcpponline.org


A gift to The Wellesley Cancer Prevention Project supports our efforts to promote education around environmental issues and the incidence of cancer. Specifically, it helps pay for our public Forums, mailings, and other educational materials. To make a donation, please make checks payable to The Wellesley Cancer Prevention Project, and sent to:

The Wellesley Cancer Prevention Project
P.O. Box 812387
Wellesley, MA 02482

Your donations are tax deductible, as the WCPP is a a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

Phone: (888) 370-9626


Attend forums, invite neighbors and friends to participate with you and to make a donation, email us with speaker ideas, and/or volunteer your time. By volunteering your time, you ensure that we are able to continue our work and mission: to raise awareness of the relationship between environmental issues and the incidence of cancer. For more information on how to become a volunteer, please email us at info@wcpponline.org.
© WCPP March 2007