The EWG released the review to advance research about how carcinogens drive disease and educate the public about the pervasiveness of chemicals in modern life.
"We thought that would be really valuable for researchers to see where the gaps are, and we also thought it would be valuable for individuals to understand the incredible amount of carcinogens in the world, where they're coming from, and the ways in which they can reduce exposures," Curt DellaValle, the study's senior scientist, explained to mindbodygreen.
DellaValle also underlined the importance of federal policy in spurring real chemical reform.
"When we stopped using lead in paint, we saw a drastic decrease in people who had the chemical in their system. When PCBs were banned in America, we also saw a decrease in the amount that was detected in people," he said. "I think that shows that when we pass effective policies, we can see really dramatic reductions in our chemical exposures."
President Obama's recent Moonshot Initiative aims to find a cure to cancer—a cure that the EWG and its President Ken Cook think could start before diagnosis.
“We should focus on preventing cancer by preventing human exposure to these chemicals," he said in the report's press release.