Today, Dr. Danielle Carnival, Deputy Assistant to the President for the Cancer Moonshot and Deputy Director for Health Outcomes in the Office of Science and Technology Policy, issued the following statement in support of landmark actions by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to reduce Americans’ exposure to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS)—toxic substances that can lead to cancer—advancing key goals of the inaugural National Cancer Prevention & Early Detection Month:

“Under President Biden’s leadership, we are taking a whole-of-government approach to tackle PFAS pollution and ensure that all Americans have access to clean, safe drinking water. Today’s announcement by EPA demonstrates actions that will help keep our communities safe from these toxic ‘forever chemicals,’” said Deputy Assistant to the President for the Cancer Moonshot, Dr. Danielle Carnival. “Coupled with the additional $1 billion investment from President Biden’s Investing in America agenda to help communities address PFAS pollution, these steps will protect the health of an estimated 100 million Americans. EPA’s standards will stop cancer before it starts by protecting communities from known risks associated with exposure to PFAS and other contaminants, including kidney and testicular cancers, making progress on the Biden Cancer Moonshot mission of ending cancer as we know it.”

This year, for the first time, President Biden established April as National Cancer Prevention & Early Detection Month to recognize the importance for millions of Americans of preventing cancer and detecting cancer early, when outcomes are best. Addressing toxic and environmental exposures is a priority of the Biden Cancer Moonshot’s goal to end cancer as we know it. Recent actions that will reduce and address cancer risk include:

  • The EPA banned the last remaining use of asbestos – known to cause mesothelioma and other cancers; issued rules which will cut emissions of the potent carcinogen, ethylene oxide, by more than 80 percent; and took action to cut PFAS from federal custodial contracts.
  • The EPA, as part of implementation of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, dedicated more than $1 billion for cleanup projects at more than 100 toxic Superfund sites in communities across the country, and committed $10 billion to help states address emerging contaminants, including PFAS.
  • The Department of Veterans Affairs has screened more than 5.25 million veterans for toxic exposure, received more than 1.43 million PACT Act claims, and granted toxic exposure benefits to more than 720,000 veterans and survivors since President Biden signed the Sergeant First Class Heath Robinson Honoring our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act into law. Over 114,000 veterans eligible under the PACT Act also have newly enrolled in VA health care.
  • The Department of Defense is pursuing a new research program, PROMETHEUS—developed as part of the Biden Cancer Moonshot—will help understand the impact of service-related toxic exposures on the development of cancer.

During National Cancer Prevention & Early Detection Month, the Biden Cancer Moonshot calls on all sectors of society to join this work to prevent more than four million cancer deaths by 2047 and to improve the experience of those touched by cancer.

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