To the Editor.—
The American Medical Association's Council on Scientific Affairs recognizes the need to regulate carcinogens but questions the underlying premises and proposed mechanisms of such regulation (1981; 246:253). The council is concerned about the hundreds of millions of dollars spent each year for carcinogen testing, especially because they view these tests to be of questionable scientific value in predicting human experience.We are concerned that one American in four has cancer develop and that cancer killed 390,000 people in 1977, making it the second most common cause of death.1 A large number of occupational and environmental agents have been associated with cancer in man.2,3 There are an estimated 63,000 chemicals in common use today, and the number increases at a rate of about 3,000 per year. Approximately 7,000 have been tested, and 1,500 of these are reported to be carcinogenic to animals. Twenty-six of these substances
Rest KM, Baker JH. Carcinogen Regulation. JAMA. 1982;247(6):751–752. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03320310015004
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