"Other factors attributed to the rise in cancer rates are changes in diet. The Mediterranean diet, traditionally rich in fibre, greens and fruits, has been slowly replaced by one high in calories and low in fibre, which may increase the occurrence of cancer. "Exposure to environmental pollutants is extremely high in Lebanon; they may be present in the air we breathe, the processed food we eat, or the toiletry products we use, such as the chemical Bisfenol, which can be found in certain plastic baby bottles," Adib says.
Other pollutants are used in agriculture. Rima, owner of a large orchard in the mountains, recently discovered that her gardener was using, without her knowledge, pesticides that had been phased out 10 years ago in the U.S. because of their link to cancer. "They are often used by farmers in spite of the existence of laws, that are rarely enforced," explains Adib."