Breast Cancer Awareness Month is an annual health campaign that is promoted every October to increase awareness of the disease. Progress has been made in achieving earlier detection, better treatment, and longer lives. But in spite of this progress, millions of women are still afflicted by this disease. In fact in the U.S., 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer during their lifetime.
The time has come to work to PREVENT this terrible disease!
Mounting scientific evidence shows that our risk of breast cancer is increased by exposures to chemicals in our everyday environment—chemicals in our food, our products, our air and our water. Chemicals linked to breast cancer can be found in cosmetics, cleaning products, food can linings, certain kinds of store receipts, and the list goes on. And it’s not just breast cancer – many chemicals have been linked to a wide array of health impacts such as other cancers, reproductive disorders, immune suppression, diabetes and other metabolic disorders, cardiovascular disease, learning disabilities and autism.
One source for these chemicals – the various forms of plastics in our everyday lives. Chemicals like Styrene (used in Styrofoam), Vinyl Chloride and Dioxins (found in PVC, the most common form of plastic), bisphenol A (BPA) (used in hard clear plastics), and phthalates (an additive used to soften plastics, including PVC). These chemicals are either known or likely to cause cancer, or they look like hormones to our body and can disrupt our sensitive chemical balance. You can learn more about this issue on Plastic Free Times.
Research in the U.S. shows that many of these chemicals are leaching out of plastic products and into our bodies. BPA was found in over 90% and phthalates were found in over 75% of the U.S. population. There is no reason to believe that these numbers would be any different overseas.
PPC member, Breast Cancer Fund (www.breastcancerfund.org) has resources to help you make personal and political choices to reduce our exposure to toxic chemicals.
What about the pink ribbons?
Any company can put a pink ribbon on its products. The widely recognized pink ribbon symbol is not regulated by any agency and does not necessarily mean it effectively combats the breast cancer epidemic. (source: ThinkBeforeYouPink.org)
Pink ribbons have been criticized for promoting overconsumption and redundant purchasing. Many survivors are furious that companies are profiting off of disease by encouraging overconsumption.
Lets make October Breast Cancer PREVENTION Month: together, lets get toxic chemicals and the products they are used in, out of our day-to-day life. Everyone can make a difference!
Plastic Pollution Coalition suggests to begin by REFUSing single use and disposable plastics, then reduce your total plastic footprint.