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From: B. Harris)
Newsgroups: sci.physics,misc.consumers,,
Subject: Re: Where There's Smoke (was Re: Microwave oven - big fight over 
Date: 7 Oct 1999 19:54:42 GMT

In <7tfrlu$r0u$> Gilbert Aubin <>

>> Take a look at Fly's 1880's photos of Apache indians who'd spent 40 or
>> 50 years out on the desert without benefits of modern cosmetics. Old
>> leather is apt.
>You have a point here. I was giving much thought to this. I arrived at
>the preliminary conclusion that white people were not made (or didn't
>develop in,if you believe in evolution) sunshine. When the amount of
>light you can get on your both hands in fifteen minutes is enough to
>produce the necessary vitamin amounts to prevent rickets, you were made
>for a place with no sunshine at all.

    Apaches are not exactly white.  They certainly have a lot more
melanin (the ultimate skin protector) than the average Caucasian.

>  However, I never heard that skin cancer is particularly common
>on the face of farm workers.

   Then you heard wrong.  As a sometime workman's comp evaluator for
the State of California, allow me to disabuse you of an incorrect
notion.  Skin cancers go with total sunlight exposure, with the
exception of melanoma, which also seems to have a separate risk from
early age sunburns.  Which, of course, are more common on normally
unexposed skin which sometimes IS social exposed (as on the beach).  So
you see a lot of melanoma on people's backs, but not their hands, and
not butts.

> My father had skin cancer on his back. As he
>never liked sunshine, he almost never had been out in the sun, neither
>recently nor 20 years ago.

    Explained nicely if it was a melanoma.  If not, well-- it's an
association, and not perfect.  You'll find people with lung cancer who
never smoked, and people who smoke all their lives who never get it.
The existance of neither consitutes a good argument.

> I also had a job in Australia where I learned
>that totally white and unprotected first generation immigrants from
>England and Scotland do not have a high incidence of skin cancer, but
>second generation Australians, who have already been brainwashed by
>public education into putting on sunscreens have an incidence of 130
>times higher.

     And as youth in a modern age, are showing a lot more of their skin
than their older and more conservative elders.  Golly, how surprising.
I"m sure those first generation Scottish emmigrants wiggle right into a
tight bikini, first thing on landing in Australia.  Not.

> In Canada, skin cancer doubled in the last twenty years. Is there
>more sunshine in Canada now? I don't think so.

    Lung cancer among women has MORE than doubled in Canada in the last
20 years.  Are cigarettes less expensive there now, and more available,
than in 1980?  I think not.  Lung cancer in men began linear increase
20 years after cigarette rolling machines took over the market, circa
1915.  It took off in women, starting 20 years after WWII.  Can you say
"confounding social variable"?

> But the shampoos are being
>sold for less and less, for 99 cents Canadian (about 65 ceents US) and
>without labelling the contents, unlike in the United States, where
>you at least have the control for yourself. Not that in the US
>shampoos are better, you have to look long and hard to find one
>without any of the substances that are implicated in cancer promotion
>on Medline.

     Which, if you know anything about cancer, is not saying much.  At
least 1/3rd of pure chemicals which have been formally evaluated at
high doses and as pure substances, including the same ratio of pure
chemicals isolated as natural products from foods, are "carcinogens."
Which is to say, "irritants."  Big deal.  Do a medline search on the
works of Bruce Ames.  Pull a review and learn something.

                                    Steve Harris

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