Wednesday, November 30, 2022


Do campgrounds cause cancer?


By Chuck Woodbury

I wrote this in February, 2012

Do California campgrounds cause cancer or birth defects? Well, maybe so. No kidding!

If you see the sign pictured here posted at your favorite RV park, then forget about all your fears of the past — bears eating you or a tree falling on your RV in the middle of the night. Forget about a propane tank exploding in the RV next to you. Forget about a madman with a hatchet breaking down your door at midnight demanding Oreos.

No, don’t worry about these things. Worry about cancer! Or giving birth to the creature pictured to the left! That’s what camping might do to you these days!

California’s Proposition 65, also known as the California Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, requires businesses, including campgrounds, to post “clear and reasonable warnings” if specified chemicals exist that are known to cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm, according to Debbie Sipe, president of the California Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds.

“The State of California publishes a list each year of these known chemicals. If any are located in your place of business then you are required to post this sign,” she said.

The occurrence of any of the following, says the state, could cause reproductive harm, birth defects and cancer: second hand smoke, campfires, engine exhaust, pool chemicals, cleaning supplies, pest control and RV holding tank products. And the list goes on. And on. And on.

Is there any place in the modern world that does not have at least some of these present? I think I need a sign for inside my motorhome.

“California’s Proposition 65 is enforced through civil lawsuits and as a result is becoming the next wave of “drive-by” lawsuits,” said Sipe.

So, presumably, if some day you get cancer or give birth to a kid with three eyes. . . then blame it on that RV park where you stayed five years before. Go ahead and sue. It was the campfire!

Oh, we live in a silly world!

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