The Whole View, Season 3, Episode 89: A New War on Cancer, The Unlikely Heroes Revolutionizing Prevention w/ Kristina Marusic

Environmental Journalist Kristina Marusic talks to Stacy about her research into cancer-causing chemicals and exposures, as well as the stories from her new book, A New War on Cancer, of those fighting for cancer prevention. Kristina also shares practical ways we can prevent exposure to harmful chemicals in our everyday lives.

Find Kristina:

If you enjoy the show, please leave a review. Letting people know on iTunes or however you listen that it’s worth their time could change someone’s life!

Key Takeaways 


  • Kristina is an award-winning journalist at Environmental Health News. Find her writing published by outlets including the Harvard Business Review, CNN, Slate, Vice, Women’s Health, The Washington Post, and MTV News.
  • In 2011, doctors diagnosed her sister with thyroid cancer. So Kristina started researching what could have caused this generally hereditary disease that didn’t actually run in her family.
  • She is here to share about her research into cancer-causing chemicals and exposures from her new book, A New War on Cancer: The Unlikely Heroes Revolutionizing Prevention. It’s about an emerging national movement focused on fighting cancer by stopping widespread exposure to carcinogenic chemicals.

A New War on Cancer

  • Only 7-9% of gl0bal cancer funds goes toward funding prevention, the rest is for treatment. There are some big reasons that funding is disproportionate, including prevention research isn’t profitable. Another reason is that it’s harder to but a face to the prevention movement, so that is exactly what Kristina attempts to do in her new book.
  • She is hopeful in seeing regulatory legislation pass at state levels, like in California. It can pressure companies to change since it’s hard to change a formula for a very local market, so they just change it for everyone.
  • Unfortunately, our zip codes are more important than our genetic codes in predicting our overall health and lifespans. Stacy and Kristina discuss exposures like the long-term effects of wildfire smoke and the connection between air pollution and mental illness.
  • Furthermore, our understanding is growing regarding how microplastics contribute to air and water pollution more than we thought.
  • Kristina shares that in her research she learned that there are a number of chemicals in building materials that have potential to off gas and provide exposures in homes, offices, and beyond.
  • Furthermore, Kristina says we have to think beyond the one single use of a product and actually think through the entire life cycle of a product. Just because a product might not harm people in the building where it’s used, doesn’t mean it’s safe, as that’s a very brief part of the product’s whole life cycle.

Next Steps

  • What we eat, drink, breathe, and apply to our skin exposes us to chemicals in the world. So it’s easy for people to get overwhelmed once they become educated. Therefore Kristina really wanted to focus in the book on solutions to problems and the people and organizations that have spent decades aggressively tackling these issues.
  • Kristina says start by picking a couple things that she knows can prevent repeat exposures, as it’s just not possible to entirely avoid them. Otherwise, she really tries to push for systemic change.
  • Other ideas:
    • Get involved! Follow some of the organizations that are taking the lead: Cancer Free Economy Network, Silent Spring Institute, Environmental Working Group (EWG) 
    • Use market pressure. So amplify shopping with your wallet and take an extra 5-10 minutes to let companies know why you made a switch (both to and from)
    • Start filtering drinking water (some suggested brands: Zero Water, Clearly Filtered, and Berkey)
    • Use a range hood over your stove and have a HEPA filter to filter indoor air
    • Prioritize slowly swapping out personal care products – EWG’s Healthy living App, Made Safe
    • Buy organic when possible

Studies, References & Products


Want more info on our Real Life? Healthy recipes, parenting tips, and general lifestyle stuff goes out in our Real Everything newsletter, join here.

So never want to miss a post, sale, or deal? Join my Healthy Inside & Out e-mail list for more info on non-toxic living and safer skincare!

Note: Stacy and her guests are not medical professionals. This podcast is for general educational purposes and NOT intended to diagnose, advise, or treat any physical or mental illness. We always recommend you consult a licensed service provider.

You Might Also Like

Shop with Stacy Toth for 20% on Clean Beauty use codeCLEANFORALL20 here