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Trump says he is not buying U.S. intelligence as he meets with Putin. Also on the rundown: as harvest nears, farmers speak out on tariffs; immigrant advocates say families should not be kept in cages; and a call for a deeper dive into the Lake Erie algae troubles.

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World Cancer Day: Congress Acts to Reduce Causes

The U.S. House and Senate finally update the 40-year-old Toxic Substances Control Act to identify cancer-causing chemicals more quickly. (National Cancer Institute)
The U.S. House and Senate finally update the 40-year-old Toxic Substances Control Act to identify cancer-causing chemicals more quickly. (National Cancer Institute)
February 4, 2016

PORTLAND, Ore. - Today is World Cancer Day, and if you look around your house, you might find water bottles, canned food, and an old mattress contaminated with chemicals that could give you cancer.

While some states have banned these potential cancer causers, federal agencies have had their hands tied in terms of regulation. Oregon Congressman Kurt Schrader(D-OR 5th District) says a new bill passed by the House and Senate changes that.

"I think it'll mean less cancer-producing substances or toxics in the environment, and frankly better, more clear enforcement if there's an occasional, hopefully rare, bad actor."

Schrader cosponsored the bill, which passed through Congress almost unanimously.

The new bill is actually an attempt to modernize the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976. Federal agencies' evaluation of harmful chemicals has come to a standstill in recent decades because of a lack of firm deadlines. Schrader says the updated bill removes these barriers, allowing federal agencies to test potential carcinogens and keep consumers safe.

"That's the essence of good legislation, that's the essence of bipartisanship, and that's the essence of getting something done that improves the environment and gives business some regulatory certainty that they can count on," he says.

Congress is now working on merging the House and Senate versions of the bill.

In addition to items around the house, you should also keep an eye on your wallet, because what you find, or don't find, there could affect your chances of surviving cancer.

New research published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology shows cancer patients who file for bankruptcy during treatment are much more likely to die from the disease. Coauthor of the study Aasthaa Bansal, Research Assistant Professor at the University of Washington, says doctors can reduce this risk by making sure patients understand that experimental and expensive treatment does not mean better treatment.

"If a treatment doesn't have clear, strong evidence of working, but it has potentially high out-of-pocket costs, that might be something to consider before prescribing it to patients," says Bansal.

Eric Tegethoff, Public News Service - OR