Americans are bombarded daily with warnings of dire threats to their health. Favorite scares include ones about traces of various chemicals in the environment, and about both synthetic and natural food constituents. But in reality, most if not all of these warnings have little to do with the real threats to our health and lives. The American Council on Science and Health (ACSH) has therefore constructed this website to give Americans a more accurate perspective on the exposures and diseases that have been proven to increase the risk of death for Americans.
The data on this website are based on American deaths in 2002 - the year for which the most complete data were available at the start of this project. They are derived from a comprehensive paper by Dr. John Morgan and colleagues at Loma Linda University - the paper in its entirety may be accessed by clicking the "Data" link at the top of the page.
Leading Causes of Death:
Diseases and injuries cost the lives of hundreds of thousands of Americans each year. Here, we present the 15 leading causes of death - both diseases and injuries are represented.
Exposures to behaviors and our environment offer all sorts of risks. Here we present a full spectrum of exposures that caused American deaths - the size of each ring is proportional to the number of deaths from the specified cause.
Note how terrorism compares to other risks.