Cancer prevention tip: Stay honest at the pump

pump gas

This blog post is part of #HealthyMe, a personalized web experience based on your health and wellness goals. To sign up today, visit http://www.ahealthiermichigan.org/healthyme  

Your beloved Ford is running on less than a fourth of a tank of gas. When you fill it up, you decide to fill it completely. The click from the pump signals a full tank, and then you see your total of $39.98. Should you pump a little extra to hit an even $40.00? No!

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), topping off your tank can be extremely harmful to the environment, as well as you. The last “squirt” of gas can spill and foil the tank’s recovery system, which is designed to keep toxic chemicals out of the air. If released, cancer-causing chemicals such as benzene can come into contact with your skin and even get into your lungs. This toxic chemical is considered a carcinogen, and over exposure can increase your cancer risk. It also can affect your central nervous, respiratory and immune systems.  So next time you’re at the gas station, pump the breaks on topping off your tank!

Additional everyday ways to prevent cancer include:

  • Invest in a water filter to reduce your exposure to carcinogens. Studies have shown home-filtered tap water is better for you than bottled water – and a lot cheaper!
  • Keep it hands-free when using your cell phone to keep radio frequencies away from your head. Though evidence has not proven a link between brain cancer risk and cell phone usage, many studies are suspicious of the correlation.
  • Hand-wash clothes and air-dry when possible to avoid the dry cleaners. According to the EPA, a traditional dry cleaning solvent known as perc has been linked to liver and kidney cancers and leukemia.
  • Wear red and blue - and a hat! – to protect your skin from the sun’s UV rays. Spanish scientists found that red and blue fabrics offer better protection against the cancer-causing rays than white and yellow fabrics.

Want more cancer-fighting tips? Join the conversation on Twitter using #KickCancer and visit our cancer awareness page for prevention tips, support and inspirational stories.

Photo credit: Mark Sardella

 

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