- Sufolk Executive Steve Levy
and his Cancer Awareness Task Force (CATF) will unveil a revised and enhanced Home Product Checklist brochure to help residents identify products and ingredients they may wish to keep out of their homes.
This Home Product Checklist is designed to lessen exposure to potential toxins and reduce cancer risks within area residences. The checklist is a cornerstone of the task force's Cancer Prevention Strategy, which received a 2010 Achievement Award from the National Association of Counties "in recognition of an effective and innovative program which contributes to and enhances county government in the United States."
Initially unveiled in October 2009, the Home Product Checklist has a new section on home maintenance and home construction and has been revamped to enhance its accessibility and readability.
"According to the National Cancer Institute, 50 to 70 percent of all cancer deaths could be prevented through lifestyle modifications," said Levy. "Avoiding smoking and maintaining a proper diet are obvious modifications, but there is also growing concern about many of the products we use and store in the home, which is why I enlisted the Cancer Awareness Task Force to develop this educational program."
The purpose of redesigning the checklist into both an easy-to-handle pamphlet as well as a .pdf file is to provide greater access to this information and to raise awareness that there are proactive steps that can be taken to help reduce the risk of cancer.
The website provides visitors with plentiful information about prevention strategies, access to care and links to many other helpful resources. This includes the Home Product Checklist, which is comprised of many types of consumer products, such as plastics and food storage containers, household cleaners, paints, and yard and garden products. Included also are personal care products, including cosmetics and lotions.
Levy noted, "People may think about removing possible toxins and carcinogenic materials from their homes, but their efforts to do so may fall short due to a lack of specific information about healthier alternatives that are tied to everyday chores that must be done. This checklist spells out potential concerns about the products and provides alternatives, often simple, that can be used."
For example, the county executive noted, the brochure notes that instead of using a spray glass cleaner, residents could use club soda in a spray bottle, or a mixture of water and vinegar or lemon juice.
To help promote the Suffolk County Cancer Prevention Strategy, the Cancer Awareness Task Force and former New York Jets
player Bobby Jackson will announce a new "Don't Sit, Get Fit" contest that asks the public for ideas on how to incorporate exercise during the workday. A range of prizes will be given for the best ideas, and the Eastern Athletic Club in Melville if offering a free10-day membership to everyone who enters the contest. Submission forms will be available beginning tomorrow at www.suffolkcountyny.gov/cancerawareness, and responses can be mailed, faxed or e-mailed. Forms will be accepted from October 5 through December 1.