BCPP Diaries

Faces of Prevention Pt. 6: Dr. Jasmine McDonald

Faces of Prevention Pt. 6: Dr. Jasmine McDonald

Like all women, I am many things. First and foremost, I am a Black mother. After that, in no particular order, I am a daughter, a sister, an auntie, an educator, an author, a scientist, a doctor, a researcher, a scholar, an innovator, a dancer, a gardener, a choreographer (in my imagination), a friend, and I am exhausted.Read More

Dr Jasmine McDonald BCPP Face of Prevention 2021

Guest Post by Dr. Jasmine McDonald, BCPP Board Member 

Like all women, I am many things.

First and foremost, I am a Black mother. After that, in no particular order, I am a daughter, a sister, an auntie, an educator, an author, a scientist, a doctor, a researcher, a scholar, an innovator, a dancer, a gardener, a choreographer (in my imagination), a friend, and I am exhausted.

I am sure I could think of more titles, but my last title prohibits.

I began my career studying Schistosomiasis, a worm infection, in a basic bench-science laboratory. However, I left the bench in search of conducting research that could benefit the human population. Besides, the lab snails were awful conversationalists.

In my quest, I met inspirational and brilliant female scientists who subsequently trained me as a molecular epidemiologist specializing in breast cancer. Thus, my path to breast cancer research was not direct, but it was clandestine. Because, as a Black woman, it is hard not to know someone who has been diagnosed.

I am a Face of Prevention. And so are you.

 Dr Jasmine McDonald BCPP Faces of Prevention

1 in 8 Black women will develop breast cancer in their lifetime (compared to 1 in 12 for the general population). Thus, it is hard to be a Black woman and not know a Black woman who has suffered a breast cancer diagnosis.

For me, it was my brilliant grandmother Mrs. Jessie Clark. Grandma was the best cook and had the energy of a 3 year old. I took naps just to keep up with her. Monday through Saturday by 10 am, she would have made 3 sets of breakfast, 2 cakes, washed all the dishes, started dinner, and could detail her prediction of who would be the next Nascar race champion. On a Sunday, she could do all of this by 8 am. But my grandmother, despite being an excellent swing dancer in her youth, never ever overweight, never ever a drinker, never ever a smoker, and being all things healthy, developed and died of breast cancer.

In my opinion, it was the lived life of my Black grandmother that brought on cancer. The social determinants of health – the environments in which my grandmother lived, worked, and played, and the structural and systemic inequity that governed those places – impacted her risk for developing breast cancer. And her lived experiences are also within me.

Be a Face of Prevention

Dr Jasmine McDonald_BCPP Face of Prevention 2021

The first title I ever held was “Egg.” Specifically, my mother’s egg in my grandmother’s womb. Thus, every social and structural inequity that led to my grandmother’s most adverse, chronic, and cumulative environmental exposures are within me.

But this fact is why I love epidemiology! I have the ability to collaborate on how the lived experience and adverse environmental exposures impact breast cancer to ensure that future generations have the opportunity for better. 

Thus, my passion for my work comes from being a Black mother.

About half of women who are diagnosed before age 45 years are diagnosed within 10 years of childbirth. These women are in the midst of child-rearing. Yet, they are faced with a 3x’s greater risk of cancer metastasis, the spread of cancer outside the breast. 

However, this group has been largely ignored – which also means Black women have been largely ignored.
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Dr Jasmine McDonald BCPP Faces of Prevention (2)

So, 6 years ago after the birth of my son, as a breast cancer researcher I knew all my personal risk factors for developing breast cancer after childbirth. And as a Black woman, I also knew all of the facts on the type of aggressive breast cancer I was more likely to get and my likelihood of dying.

I was scared and I remain scared. But the fear assaulted me when my friend of nearly 20 years told me on my birthday that she was diagnosed with aggressive breast cancer. Her son was 6 years old at the time.

So, what is breast cancer prevention to me?

1. Life course strategies to reduce breast cancer risk through the mitigation and elimination of carcinogenic external exposures, especially those that can be eliminated by upstream macro-level factors. Breast Cancer Prevention Partners is critical to this goal. BCPP can impact and change the laws, regulations, and policies that harm Black women. For example, endocrine disruptor chemicals in hair care products, those commonly used by women of color, are associated with a host of adverse health outcomes. Yet, the onus to avoid these chemicals should not be on the individual but instead restricted by our laws.

2. Screening and early detection is available and achievable for every woman.

3. Improving overall survival for young women who are diagnosed with breast cancer and are simultaneously raising the next generation.

Will you join me and support BCPP’s mission today? Together, let’s advance breast cancer prevention!

Be a Face of Prevention


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Dr. Jasmine McDonald BCPP Faces of Prevention

Faces of Prevention Pt. 5: Jeana Thurston

Faces of Prevention Pt. 5: Jeana Thurston

I started my quest to find the cause of my elevated estrogen levels by looking into the products that I was using. Everything from shampoo, conditioner, bath soap, lotion, deodorant, toothpaste, nail polish, sunscreen, skincare, and makeup had “endocrine disruptors” – ingredients that have been found to interfere with the endocrine system. I was appalled!Read More

Jeana Thurston BCPP Faces of Prevention

[TW: breast cancer]

Guest Post by Jeana Thurston, Crunchi wellness activist 

In September 2018, my annual mammogram showed a small irregularity. Since I had no family history of breast cancer and could not feel anything during my self-breast exam, I was only recommended a follow-up in six months. Although the follow-up showed the same results, I pushed for a biopsy, because I knew I would not be able to get it out of my mind.

On April 3, 2019, I got the call. “I am sorry. It is breast cancer.” I was numb, shocked, in disbelief, and in tears. The diagnosis: invasive lobular carcinoma. The words played in my head over and over like a broken record.

My oncology team recommended a genetic test and blood work, because I am the first in my family to be diagnosed and because I have a sister and daughter. The genetics test was negative, but the blood work showed high estrogen levels. The big question was, “Where is the extra estrogen coming from?” With no clear medical evidence, everything pointed to environmental causes. This is what BCPP focuses on, and you can help support their vital work today!

The next three months were a storm of side-effects and frustration as I tried to figure out why this all happened. The tumor was 90% estrogen receptor-positive, and much larger and more advanced than expected! I faced a rigorous schedule of three kinds of chemotherapy, followed by radiation, and sudden-onset medical menopause.

I started my quest to find the cause of my elevated estrogen levels by looking into the products that I was using. Everything from shampoo, conditioner, bath soap, lotion, deodorant, toothpaste, nail polish, sunscreen, skincare, and makeup had “endocrine disruptors” – ingredients that have been found to interfere with the endocrine system. I was appalled!

Jeana Thurston BCPP Faces of Prevention

After purging all the products containing endocrine disruptors, I didn’t have much left in my collection of personal care products. Through my diagnosis, my family and friends were suddenly made aware of environmental toxics lurking in their homes.

That’s when I discovered Crunchi (or maybe Crunchi found me). As a safer skincare and cosmetics company, Crunchi and its community of advocates gave me a vast sisterhood of strong, supportive, and heart-forward women who shared not only their research with me, but also their love.

I first learned of BCPP when researching ingredients during my cancer treatments. I love that BCPP is a science-based advocacy organization that has worked to prevent breast cancer by eliminating exposure to harmful chemicals and radiation for the past 30 years. I appreciate that BCPP works to pass legislation reducing toxic chemicals in our environment. Help them continue this important work in 2022!

Jeana Thurston BCPP Faces of Prevention (2)

When I found out that BCPP and Crunchi were partners, my heart became full. I was one of the 268,600 women with a newly diagnosed invasive carcinoma in 2019. As a survivor, I do not want to see or hear that another person must face this diagnosis.

Until the day comes when we can all celebrate the passing of legislation that bans companies from putting toxic chemicals in products, we must protect ourselves and each other.

Please support the lifesaving work of BCPP by making a generous year-end gift today.

P.S. My recommendation to all: be an ingredient detective and avoid toxic chemicals. We have a choice to not support companies who choose to use toxic ingredients in their products. Here are some useful resources to help: BCPP’s website and Clearya

P.P.S. Please consider making a special year-end gift to BCPP and take advantage of the CARES Act deduction! The IRS is allowing the $300 deduction for cash donations for people who take the standard deduction, AND they’ve added a $600 deduction for married joint filing. So, give generously!

Be a Face of Prevention


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Jeana Thurston BCPP Faces of Prevention

Faces of Prevention Pt. 4: Lindsey Shelley

Faces of Prevention Pt. 4: Lindsey Shelley

As a mother of four daughters, it has always been my mission to lead them on a path that will positively impact their health. Being a mom is no easy task! Knowing that I will not always be able to make choices for them, I want to normalize clean living and show them how to make informed decisions as consumers.Read More

Lindsey Shelley Mindfully Beautiful Mama_BCPP Faces of Prevention header

Guest Post by Lindsey Shelley, Mindfully Beautiful Mama 

As a mother of four daughters, it has always been my mission to lead them on a path that will positively impact their health. Being a mom is no easy task! Knowing that I will not always be able to make choices for them, I want to normalize clean living and show them how to make educated decisions as consumers. Having an open mind about new ways of living and becoming informed were the first steps I took to learn how to reduce our exposure to toxic chemicals. We are supposed to take a company’s word at face value that their product is safe for us. I want to change that and promote being a smart consumer. I began by learning how to read ingredient labels and avoiding chemicals of concernUsing apps, like Clearya, has helped me understand which ingredients to avoid and how they impact my health, so I can shop healthier. Some top ingredients we avoid in personal and household products includes: Fragrance, all ParabensTriclosan, and Alkylphenols. When my daughters ask about a product, we know to turn it over, and look for red flags, and not be fooled by pretty packaging.

I am a Face of Prevention. And so are you. 

Lindsey Shelley BCPP Faces of Prevention

Part of normalizing clean living is talking about what impacts our health in everyday conversation. When my girls are looking at a fun colored hand sanitizer, for example, I not only help them find the “fragrance” listed, but also throw in facts they can understand at their level. For example, casually telling them that “fragrance” can mean hundreds of ingredients that companies don’t need to tell us about.To children, anything secretive is taken as unfair, so they immediately question why that’s allowed. This leads to conversations with my older two daughters about BCPP’s current bills in Congress that will require companies to disclose exactly what secret toxic ingredients are in their products.

Will you help support BCPP raise the funds needed to pass the Safer Beauty Bill Package?

Normalizing clean living means being open to talking about choices we make for the whole family. This can be as simple as choosing paper sandwich bags and sharing how this helps reduce our plastic use and how BPA (which is harmful to our health) is used in some plastics. BCPP has also shown a light on toxic PFAS “forever” chemicals in our cookware and food packaging. Because of what I’ve learned from BCPP’s science, I now know how dangerous they can be to our health. So, I am ditching the Teflon cookware I have for a safer alternatives like ceramic, stainless steel, or cast iron!  

There are risk factors that are out of our control, but there are choices we can make that will reduce our risk of breast cancer, one being the products we bring into our homes. BCPP provides clear ways to make simple changes. Through BCPP’s guidance, I have learned which areas to focus on that’ll have the biggest impact. Clean living is the way of the future! 

Through my Mindfully Beautiful Mama Instagram and consulting, my goal is to empower women to become educated consumers and make choices that will reduce their toxic exposure. 

Lindsey Shelley BCPP Faces of Prevention (2)

With your support, BCPP can reduce our rate and risk of breast cancer, now and for future generations. Please consider a gift to advance BCPP’s life-saving work to create a safer, healthier world for ourselves and our loved ones.

Be a Face of Prevention


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Lindsey Shelley Mindfully Beautiful Mama_BCPP Faces of Prevention (5)

BCPP Bulletin: Year in Review 2021

BCPP Bulletin: Year in Review 2021

We are happy to report that this past year has been a transformative one for BCPP. Through your loyal support and the diligent work of our staff, we were able to reach several major, health-protective milestones and grow the ever-increasing voice for primary prevention. Please check out the quick gist of 2021’s victories!Read More

BCPP Bulletin Year in Review 2021

We are happy to report that this past year has been a transformative one for BCPP. Through your loyal support and the diligent work of our staff, we were able to reach several major, health-protective milestones and grow the ever-increasing voice for primary prevention. Check out the quick gist of 2021’s victories that we can celebrate because of your continued dedication to the cause, and click the buttons to learn more.

If you haven’t already, please give your year-end gift today for breast cancer prevention!

mother and son cooking brooke-lark-UX87Pz74ukY-unsplash

VICTORY! Pushing PFAS out of our food

On October 5th, Governor Newsom signed the BCPP co-sponsored California Safer Food Packaging and Cookware Act (AB 1200) into law, marking the 16th law made possible because of BCPP’s leadership! With your letters and stories, we helped pass a momentous law that will DOUBLE the number of people protected in the U.S. from PFAS, from 38 to 77 million. AB 1200 1) bans the use of PFAS in paper-based food packaging 2) requires cookware manufacturers to disclose the presence of hazardous chemicals 3) and prohibits misleading advertising on cookware packaging. Now, nearly 25% of the entire U.S. market will no longer be forced to use toxic-laden food packaging! And we’re not stopping here – in 2022 we’ll be expanding our PFAS work via federal legislation.

President Joe Biden 2021

Dear President Biden…

With a new Administration in place, we leapt at the chance to articulate a federal roadmap toward preventing breast cancer. We developed a 22-page Federal Policy Agenda for Breast Cancer Prevention, which recommends actions President Biden can take (issuing executive orders, reversals of regulatory rollbacks initiated through the previous Administration, and launching key research & policy initiatives) to reduce breast cancer. And we didn’t just write this Agenda – we delivered it directly into the hands of key decision-makers! Working with our D.C. partners, we distributed this Agenda directly to President Biden, crucial members of his Administration, First Lady Jill Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, and key congressional offices.

BCPP Bulletin Year in Review 2021

Countering the injustice of beauty: BCPP’s new Safer Black Beauty List

In response to prolific marketing of Black beauty companies selling products that contain hazardous ingredients – such as skin lighteners, hair straighteners, etc. – BCPP is partnering with scientists and leading nonprofits (NGOs) to develop a first-of-its-kind list of “safer” Black-owned beauty brands that make and sell beauty & personal care products to Black women and girls. We will raise awareness about the hazardous chemicals in Black beauty products; equip women with resources they can trust to make safer choices; create a “do not use” list of chemicals in Black beauty products to help retailers and manufacturers make and sell safer products; and elevate companies that create safer beauty & personal care products for all. Coming soon!

BCPP Bulletin Year in Review 2021

Moving prevention forward, virtually

In March, we held our first-ever virtual gala, March Forth, to celebrate and invigorate our movement to prevent breast cancer and create a healthier world for everyone. The evening was filled with amazing energy and featured outstanding entertainment, high-profile celebrity speakers, and diverse environmental health and justice leaders. From scientist to senator, artist to athlete, the speakers glowed, and the BCPP community showed up. Over 700 BCPPers joined us virtually and came together strong, raising over $227,500 for prevention!

Safer Beauty Bill Package #SaferBeauty4All

Everyone loves a package deal: #SaferBeauty4All

The current U.S. law governing the $100 billion personal care and beauty product industry is old, outdated, and only 2 pages long. It’s way past time to upgrade our cosmetic safety laws! Which is why we developed a federal Safer Beauty Bill Package, officially introduced to Congress on October 8th. Championed by 4 strong, incredibly dedicated, and passionate female members of Congress, these bills will 1) ban the worst ingredients, 2) disclose secret fragrance and flavor ingredients, 3) better protect women of color & salon workers, and 4) help companies get the supply chain information they need to make safer products. To introduce and build excitement for this package to key decision-makers, NGO and business partners, and our base, we held a kick-off press conference, launched a letter-signing campaign, and garnered support from 140 NGOs and businesses.

Paths to Prevention: Breastfeeding

Paving Paths to Prevention

After producing our groundbreaking Paths to Prevention, we continue to push this statewide model for primary breast cancer prevention to the national level, with the goal of encouraging other states to adopt systemic actions to reduce hazardous environmental exposures. This year, we developed and published three factsheets on risk factors and interventions associated with Race, Power, and EquityBreastfeeding; and Alcohol, respectively. Now, we are working with the CDC and National Association of Chronic Disease Directors to develop and present a series of webinars to 1) educate other state agency staff about the connection between cancer and the environment and 2) provide them with the tools they need to incorporate policies addressing chemical exposures in their state cancer plans.

BCPP Climb Against the Odds 2020_ClaytonHerrmann244

Pioneering the outdoors for prevention

COVID might have stuck by our side through 2021, but that didn’t stop the revival and success of our signature annual events! In June, we had our biggest Climb Against the Odds yet, as 2 teams of 41 climbers total – including mother/son duos, breast cancer survivors, doctors, activists, and BCPP staff – faced high winds, sharp inclines, and even sleet as they ascended Mt. Shasta in the name of prevention. Our in-person portion of the 26th year of Peak Hike moved to a new, gorgeous location. With a small but mighty group of 186 in-person hikers, paired with virtual hikers across the country, we raised nearly $125,000 to stop breast cancer!

Your support powers and makes our prevention work possible—thank you!

Our shared mission is to expose and eliminate the environmental causes of breast cancer – toxic chemicals in our food and water, consumer products, and workplaces. We promote health equity by working with communities that experience worse outcomes, earlier onset, or greater toxic exposures. We partner with lawmakers, businesses, and like-minded organizations to accelerate our impact. When we prevent breast cancer, we also prevent many other cancers and diseases. Your generous giving makes all this work possible. Thank you so much for your support to move prevention forward, and we wish you a happy new year!

BCPP By the Numbers 2021

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Faces of Prevention Pt. 3: Heather Buren

Faces of Prevention Pt. 3: Heather Buren

We NEVER pull up in front of a fully involved burning building and say, “Oh that looks toxic, I don’t think I’m going to fight this fire.” Not on your life! We ALWAYS choose to step into the burning building, we choose to locate, confine and extinguish the fire, while looking for and saving victims along our path.Read More

Kimberly Mulqueen BCPP Board Member Faces of Prevention

For years we at BCPP have been exploring the relationship between occupation and breast cancer and we remain focused on building a healthier workplace.

Hear from our Face of Prevention Lieutenant Heather Buren, San Francisco Fire Dept., Board member of the United Fire Service Women:

Guest Post by Lieutenant Heather Buren, San Francisco Fire Dept., Board member of the United Fire Service Women 

For the past 24 years I have proudly worked alongside my SFFD brothers and sisters saving the lives and property of the residents and visitors of San Francisco. Currently working on a busy engine company in the Mission, I don’t choose when me and my crew fight fire. We NEVER pull up in front of a fully involved burning building and say, “Oh that looks toxic, I don’t think I’m going to fight this fire.” Not on your life! We ALWAYS choose to step into the burning building, we choose to locate, confine and extinguish the fire, while looking for and saving victims along our path. And sadly, we are learning that our actions are in fact taking our lives!

Years down the road, we are being diagnosed with cancer and dying because of the “toxic soup” of chemicals we are exposed to in every fire we fight and because until recently, firefighters were not taking the simple and necessary steps to quickly remove the soot and chemicals off our body, gear, tools, and apparatus. If toxic chemicals weren’t allowed in couches and mattresses and carpets and turnout gear, we wouldn’t be exposed in the first place. Through chemical policy change, it’s crucial that our elected officials do everything they can to protect us from the toxic chemicals linked to cancer.

The science-based approach to prevention that BCPP takes has educated me and my colleagues, causing us to alter our decontamination behavior. Thank you, BCPP, for taking science and making it action-based and helping to protect us all!

I am a Face of Prevention. And so are you.

Heather Buren Firefighter BCPP Climber Face of Prevention 3

I proudly serve the residents of San Francisco, and after 24 years I am still loving the work and challenges I face each day as a SFFD firefighter. Through their focus on prevention of breast cancer through a science-based lens, BCPP has given me the tools to keep myself and my crews safer!

Won’t you please give today and help BCPP continue their vital work in 2022? 

Firefighters, like me, are exposed to many substances linked to health problems, including PFAS “forever” chemicals. Multiple studies have demonstrated that firefighters are at a higher risk for cancer or serious illness through occupational exposure to dangerous substances.

Biomonitoring

About 10 years ago, I was concerned about the breast cancer many of my SFFD friends and colleagues were being diagnosed with. I wondered if we were at a higher risk because of our occupational exposures in the fire service. At the time I could not find a single study that assessed this risk among female firefighters. I was convinced that the absence of data did not equal an absence of risk. So to better understand the elevated risk of breast cancer among our ranks, we (United Fire Service Women) partnered with researchers and advocates like BCPP to create the Women Firefighters Biomonitoring Collaborative (WFBC), to collect blood and urine from firefighters and office workers in San Francisco.

Researchers analyzed the blood and urine samples for the presence of PFAS “forever” chemicals, PAHs, and flame retardants and other chemicals of concern and wrote up their findings in this article. It concludes that women firefighters are exposed to higher levels of PFAS chemicals compared to office workers, suggesting that some of these exposures may be occupationally related.

While working with BCPP in this research study I learned that when it comes to preventing breast cancer, only 10% of cases are attributed to genetics. Preventable causes of the disease include exposures to toxic chemicals and other environmental factors.

Policy

PFAS “forever” chemicals in firefighting foam are a major source of drinking water contamination and pose a risk to communities where firefighting foam is used and to the firefighters who use the foam. That’s why BCPP passed a new law that bans toxic PFAS from firefighting foam!

You Can Help

Help us continue this vital work in 2022. Tomorrow is #GivingTuesday, a national day of giving, and BCPP is excited to announce this year’s generous partner: Innersense Organic Beauty.

Kick start our matching gift challenge by tripling your donation TODAY! This week you have the opportunity to TRIPLE your impact for advancing breast cancer prevention!

P.S. As a special gift, Innersense Organic Beauty has a special offer for 20% off of products this #GivingTuesday until 12/31/21 for our BCPP community. Use code GIVING20 at checkout.

X3 Match for Giving Tuesday


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Heather Buren BCPP Faces of Prevention

Faces of Prevention Pt. 2: Erica Heywood

Faces of Prevention Pt. 2: Erica Heywood

Did you know that physical activity reduces your risk of breast cancer? It can also boost your immune system to help your body fight off COVID or the flu. This doesn’t have to be a one-day thing.Read More

Erica Heywood BCPP Climber Faces of Prevention

At BCPP, we work hard to get toxic chemicals out of your daily products. We publish science reports. We advocate for a healthier world. We pass laws to protect people. We also climb, trek, and hike. All for breast cancer prevention.

And today, we’re putting the leftovers away and prioritizing our health by getting outdoors.

Did you know that physical activity reduces your risk of breast cancer? It can also boost your immune system to help your body fight off COVID or the flu.

This doesn’t have to be a one-day thing. What can you do? Regularly get active.

A great way to hit your fitness goals is to join the Climb Against the Odds June 2022 team for an experience of a lifetime! It’s a 3-day guided  journey to climb a 14,179-ft. peak for prevention.

Hear from our Face of Prevention: Erica Heywood

I climb because I had breast cancer. I climb to honor my family members that have also been afflicted with cancer. I climb for my friends and their families to support their current fight with this disease. I climb to fight breast cancer!

I climb because the environmental risks associated with breast cancer can be greatly reduced. I climb because people deserve to know what the risks are and how to avoid them. I climb to help fight this horrible disease by attacking the core of the disease through prevention.

This journey is about ordinary people facing extraordinary challenges. Breast cancer survivors, families climbing in honor of a loved one, and inspired individuals committed to BCPP’s vision of stopping breast cancer before it starts. It all comes together for this powerful individual and collective challenge to help reduce the staggering 1 in 8 odds of a woman’s breast cancer diagnosis. Sign up today; you won’t regret it!

I am a Face of Prevention. And so are you. 

Erica Heywood with Linda Helper Corley BCPP Climbers

In the shadow of Mount Shasta for Climb Against the Odds to prevent breast cancer.

Erica Heywood

BCPP Climb Against the Odds '21

Pick your BCPP outdoor adventure to make a difference: 

Climb Against the Odds 2021 Patti_Breast Cancer Prevention Partners

Climb Against the Odds

• June 13-17, 2022
• Mt. Shasta, CA
Learn More & Join us! 

Sacred Treks

Sacred Treks

• March 21 – April 2, 2022
• Patagonia in Chile’s Torres del Paine and Argentina’s Los Glaciares Parks
Learn More 

Ridge Hike

Ridge Hike

• April 10, 2022
• Danville, CA – 10.5 mile hike or 6 mile walk
Register here

Bike for Boobs BCPP fundraiser

Get Active Challenge

• Dedicate any athletic event or goal of your choosing
• Whether you run, bike, or stair climb—help support our lifesaving work.
Sign up here 

Did you know? Top Tip:

Adults should sit less. Do a weekly minimum of 150–300 minutes moderate intensity OR 75-150 minutes vigorous intensity aerobic activity OR a combination of both; do strength training twice per week.


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Erica Heywood BCPP Faces of Prevention

BCPP’s Faces of Prevention Pt. 1: Kimberly Comer Mulqueen

BCPP’s Faces of Prevention Pt. 1: Kimberly Comer Mulqueen

[TW: breast cancer] Imagine a world without breast cancer. One without the aftereffects of mastectomy, lumpectomy, chemo or radiation, or the loss of a loved one. By being an integral member of our BCPP family, you are helping eliminate the causes of this disease so that others won’t hear the words, “You have breast cancer.Read More

Kimberly Mulqueen BCPP Board Member Faces of Prevention

[TW: breast cancer] 

Guest Post by BCPP Board Member Kimberly Comer Mulqueen 

Imagine a world without breast cancer. One without the aftereffects of mastectomy, lumpectomy, chemo or radiation, or the loss of a loved one. By being an integral member of our BCPP family, you are helping eliminate the causes of this disease so that others won’t hear the words, “You have breast cancer.”

Like you, I support BCPP because breast cancer is personal to me. I cried with my sister as she asked for the most aggressive treatment available so that her 7-year-old could still have a mom. My sister, my family, and so many others helped me battle breast cancer 22 years later. Now, I’m over 3 years cancer-free and incredibly grateful to be able to dedicate myself to stopping this disease from harming others.

I am a Face of Prevention. And so are you.

Kimberly Comer Mulqueen family and Peak Hike team

Me and my beautiful family, and with friends participating in this year’s virtual Peak Hike for Prevention.

Your support puts the power into prevention, so that BCPP can save lives through its science-based advocacy, policy interventions, and shifts in the marketplace that eliminate our exposures to toxic chemicals linked to the disease.

Are you with me for the biggest giving event of the year?

#GivingTuesday – a national day of giving – is coming on November 30, and BCPP is excited to announce this year’s generous partner: Innersense Organic Beauty!

TRIPLE your impact with a x3 match and advance breast cancer prevention during this season of giving.

Together, we can fund important science-based research, change policies, enact laws, and share information to prevent cancer – one person and one community at a time.

Ready to put the power into prevention on Tuesday 11.30.21?

Thank you in advance for your continued support. I am honored to work with you and proud to be the incoming Board Chair of BCPP.

And stay tuned for more Faces of Prevention like you and me in the coming weeks. Our stories and shared mission make BCPP’s lifesaving work possible.

With hope and gratitude,

Kimberly Comer Mulqueen

X3 Match for Giving Tuesday


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Kimberly Comer Mulqueen BCPP’s Faces of Prevention Pt 1

What California’s New Safer Cookware Law Means for You

What California’s New Safer Cookware Law Means for You

If you’ve been shopping for cookware recently, you’ve probably seen a slew of labels that say: “PFOA-free,” “PFOS-free,” “PTFE-free,” “PFAS-free.” If this alphabet soup is confusing to you, you are not alone. The good news: help is on the way!Read More

By Nancy Buermeyer, BCPP Senior Policy Strategist 

If you’ve been shopping for cookware recently, you’ve probably seen a slew of labels that say: “PFOA-free,” “PFOS-free,” “PTFE-free,” “PFAS-free.” If this alphabet soup is confusing to you, you are not alone. The good news: help is on the way! The BCPP-co-sponsored CA Safer Food Packaging and Cookware Act, or AB 1200, which Governor Newsom just signed into law, will put an end to confusing and misleading marketing claims about harmful chemicals in your cookware, and ban PFAS Forever Chemicals from paper-based food packaging.

 

For the first time ever, cookware manufacturers will be required to disclose hazardous chemicals in their products, and stop making misleading about harmful chemicals, such as PFAS Forever Chemicals (per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances, which includes PFOA, PFOS, PTFE and more). More on that below.

 

PFAS Forever Chemicals Victory CA AB1200
And while this is a California law, everyone across the country will benefit since the information will be available on-line as of January 2023 and on the package a year later. Given California’s size, it’s highly unlikely that cookware manufacturers will create separate labels for just this market.

The “miracle of modern chemistry” brought us the non-stick pan, with the brand name Teflon, back in the mid-1940s. Unfortunately, the chemicals that created this modern convenience are part of a class of toxic chemicals known as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances or PFAS, commonly called Forever Chemicals.

PFAS breast cancer prevention tip card infographic
“Toxic” meaning that they are linked to a stunning array of harms to human health and the environment, including breast and other cancers, hormone disruption, kidney and liver damage, thyroid disease, developmental harm, and immune system disruption, including interference with vaccines. “Forever Chemicals” because literally every single molecule of these chemicals that has been produced since the 1940s is still in our environment and will be for thousands of years to come.

The early versions of Teflon were made with a specific PFAS chemical: perfluorooctanoic acid, or PFOA. As one of the oldest and best studied of this chemical class, it became clear, even to chemical manufacturers, that they should stop using this extremely toxic chemical. To give you a sense of just how toxic, the California EPA recently recommended a public health goal for PFOA in drinking water of 0.007 parts per trillion (ppt)! Perfluorooctanesulfonic acid, or PFOS, is a similarly toxic sister chemical with a suggested safe level in of 1 ppt. Even though PFOS is not used in cookware, manufacturers still use its bad name for marketing purposes, claiming pans are “PFOS-free.”

AB1200_cooking pan
Cookware manufacturers eventually stopped using PFOA in pan linings, however many simply moved to a different PFAS chemical like polytetrafluoroethylene, or PTFE, that doesn’t have the same amount of research or bad publicity.  Yet, PTFE is still toxic and persistent in the environment. It can cause harm three different ways:

  1. To workers and the environment during production
  2. To consumers using the pans at high temperatures
  3. To communities and the environment when the pans are disposed and incinerated

A recent study by our colleagues at the Ecology Center, What’s Cooking? PFAS and Other Chemical Hazards in Nonstick Cooking and Baking Pans, tested the non-stick linings of cooking and baking pans and found not only PFAS chemicals, which were expected, but also the hormone disrupting chemical BPA (bisphenol A). The discovery of BPA was surprising and raised questions like how many pans out there are using BPA, and what other chemicals are in pans that we don’t know about?

Cooking egg nonstick pan cookware
The newly passed California law, AB 1200, requires disclosure not just of PFAS chemicals, but any chemical appearing on a set of 23 scientific authoritative lists. The chemicals on this list are linked to cancer, reproductive or developmental harm, neurotoxicity, hormone disruption, and allergies—as well as air and water contamination.

Another important finding of the What’s Cooking? report was that many of the pans lined with PTFE (the newer PFAS)––made a claim on the package that the pan was “PFOA-free.” While technically correct, advertising a pan as free of PFOA while not saying that it is made of another PFAS chemical is misleading. It gives consumers a false sense that they are avoiding this class of toxic chemicals.

Thankfully, California’s AB 1200 prohibits this kind of greenwashing. Under the new law, labels and websites can’t claim a product is free of a specific chemical if the product contains another one belonging to the same hazardous chemical family.

Cookware joins the list of products—cleaning products, professional salon products, and fragrance and flavors in beauty and personal care products—which now must disclose their ingredients, particularly the hazardous chemicals in the product, thanks to California legislation passed with the leadership of BCPP.

Accurate labeling of the toxic chemicals in products like pots and pans helps us all to make more informed choices when we shop.


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Meet Amy Ana: Mother, wife, fisherwoman, breast cancer survivor

Meet Amy Ana: Mother, wife, fisherwoman, breast cancer survivor

The breast cancer journey leaves a permanent mark, physically and emotionally, on the breast cancer survivors and their families. Having lived through this journey, I believe with all my heart that the best way to stop breast cancer is to prevent it BEFORE it starts! Read More

Meet Amy Ana

I’m writing today with the hope that you will join me in the critical movement to prevent breast cancer, which affects even young mothers like myself.

It was Friday, March 13, 2020, when I got the call at work. I was just about to open the pharmacy for the day when I heard the words that would momentarily paralyze me and forever change my life. “You have breast cancer.” I barely had time to call my husband before the first prescription needed to be filled.

That very same day, we got the news that school would be closing due to a new unknown virus. Up until this point, my husband and I had made a great team in figuring out life’s unknowns and providing comfort and answers to some hard questions for our kids.  For the first time as a mom, I didn’t have the answers. 

When we told the kids the news, they only had one question, “Mama, are you going to die?”  I will never forget the blank looks on their faces and the silence in the room as they waited for my answer.  I projected what calm I could; and in a light-hearted voice, I assured them we would be fine as long as we were together – realizing for the first time, I couldn’t make that promise.  As they finally went to watch a movie, I quietly fell apart. 

Trying to manage a breast cancer diagnosis and a new global pandemic was exhausting, confusing, and terrifying. Three weeks later, with strict COVID protocols in place at the hospital, I headed in solo for a double mastectomy.  It was my 42nd birthday.  I had four kids at home, a great marriage, and a whole life I desperately wanted to see again.

Needless to say, I’ve learned so much on this journey.  I now know we all have a role to play if we want to create change that will result in prevention.  I have joined the fight to prevent breast cancer so that, together, we can make an impact from my story and the thousands of stories like mine.  We all have women in our lives that we love.  Moms, daughters, sisters, aunts, cousins, friends… and they deserve their lifetime risk to be less than 1 in 8! 

Our opportunity for change is NOW. Together, we can and we will stop breast cancer BEFORE it starts by helping Breast Cancer Prevention Partners save lives through its science-based advocacy and education, and changing the system to eliminate our exposures to toxic chemicals linked to breast cancer.

Since my cancer wasn’t genetic, like 90% of all breast cancer cases, I am convinced it was caused by what I had been exposed to. This includes what I put in and on my body each day and things outside of my control, like air and water quality.

I am blessed to have the ability to focus on eliminating toxic chemicals for my family, but not everyone has equal access and opportunity. Until we can prevent the breast cancer cases linked to the environment, BCPP is here to help us individually navigate safer choices, while advocating societally for a healthier planet and its people.

BCPP is the only national organization solely focused on the science linking breast cancer to chemicals in our everyday lives. Your support ensures that BCPP can create a safer, healthier world without toxic chemicals in our air, water, products, and communities.

The breast cancer journey leaves a permanent mark, physically and emotionally, on the breast cancer survivors and their families. Having lived through this journey, I believe with all my heart that the best way to stop breast cancer is to prevent it BEFORE it starts!

The time is now. Before October’s Breast Cancer Prevention Month ends, will you join me in honor of the women in your life?

With gratitude from our family of warriors,

P.S. My family is now living a healthier life and I am OKAY. In fact, last June, Jourel and I hosted an inaugural deep sea fishing event called Fishing for the Cause; and our community, family, and friends rose to the occasion by helping us raise $20,000 for BCPP! 


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Amy Ana BCPP Faces of Prevention

BCPP’s Breast Cancer PREVENTION Month Shopping Guide 2021 Part 2

BCPP’s Breast Cancer PREVENTION Month Shopping Guide 2021 Part 2

October is almost over – and there are less than 2 weeks to make your shopping count towards breast cancer PREVENTION! We can shop all year round, but it’s not often that our shopping also supports a life-saving cause. Speak with your dollars and check out our Partner Shopping Guide below!Read More

Breast Cancer Prevention Month October Partner Guide 2021 BCAM_2

​​​​​*Smart, safer shopping made easy*

Purchases that support our work in prevention

We call October Breast Cancer Prevention Month. For over 20 years, October has signified the month to promote awareness of breast cancer and shop in support of finding a cure. Yet, 1 in 8 women in the US will still be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime. That’s why we continue to shift the conversation from awareness to prevention

October is almost over – and there are less than 2 weeks to make your shopping count towards breast cancer PREVENTION!

We can shop all year round, but it’s not often that our shopping also supports a life-saving cause. Each purchase from our Partner Shopping Guide will support the science, policy, and market-based activities BCPP undertakes to protect you, your loved ones, and our planet from toxic chemicals in our environment. Speak with your dollars and check out our Guide below!

Juice Beauty

Juice Beauty

Juice Beauty, antioxidant-rich skincare & plant-pigment makeup, has been cleaning up the Beauty space since 2005. Vegan, Cruelty Free, Sustainable, Made with Certified Organic Ingredients and delivered from Farm to Beauty. Clinically validated formulas, authentically organic ingredients so every organic drop feeds your skin.

Oct 21-Dec 1, 5% of each Stem Cellular Collection purchase will contribute to BCPP! Clean Beauty

Henry Rose

Henry Rose

Created by Michelle Pfeiffer, Henry Rose is committed to using only ingredients vetted against the strictest standards for health and safety known today. They’re proud to be both EWG Verified and Cradle to Cradle Certified.

Each Henry Rose purchase helps contribute to a minimum donation of $10,000 to BCPP. Fragrance

Balega

Balega

Balega is on a mission of prevention by encouraging healthier lifestyles for everyone. Encourage yourself and others to never give up with the limited edition Balega Women’s Grit & Grace No Show Socks featuring new inspirational phrases each year.

Make a difference today! $1 per pair of Balega Grit and Grace socks will be donated to BCPP, up to $10,000! Socks

Armitron Hope Watch

Armitron

Since 1975, Armitron has been devoted to nurturing the spirit of individuality with high quality, high-style watches at approachable price points. Armitron is releasing The Hope watch to honor BCPP and its mission to prevent breast cancer.

All October, 10% of the purchase price for each Hope watch will support a $1,500 donation to BCPP. Hope Watch

Ecologic

Ecologic

As a proud annual partner of the BCPP, Ecologic keeps you, your family, and the earth healthy with ground-breaking sustainable packaging technology. By connecting you to a more environmentally friendly lifestyle, Ecologic helps reduce reliance on plastic one eco.bottle® at a time.

Begin your sustainability journey and grab a 16oz eco.bottle® kit from Home Depot or Lowe’s today! ECOLOGIC

GlassesUSA

GlassesUSA.com

GlassesUSA.com, is the leading online eyewear retailer in the U.S. and they are proud to support BCPP’s meaningful work to help prevent breast cancer.

GlassesUSA.com will donate $5 of the purchase price from every Amelia E. Kealia frame sold during October to BCPP, up to $10,000, with a donation of $2,500 guaranteed! Glasses

Crystal

CRYSTAL

CRYSTAL Deodorant™, the leader in natural deodorants for over 35 years, is proud to support Breast Cancer Prevention Partners as we work to prevent breast cancer by eliminating our exposure to toxic chemicals and radiation linked to the disease.

Each CRYSTAL purchase made helps support a guaranteed donation of $3,500 to BCPP! CRYSTAL

TriggerPoint

TriggerPoint

TriggerPoint develops innovative massage therapy tools that mirror the feeling of a therapist’s hands, so whether at home or on-the-go, people of all lifestyles can achieve their ultimate wellness goals.

In support of BCPP, TriggerPoint is donating 20% of the purchase price of each pink GRID 1.0 and GRID 2.0 foam roller sold during the month of October! Roller

Headsweats

Headsweats

Gear up for your next adventure and go the distance for a better planet! As the world leader in ultra-light, supremely wicking performance headwear, Headsweats is proud to support Breast Cancer Prevention Partners! 

Choose from a variety of unique designs, from their exclusive collection of performance gear. They’re donating 20% of every sale to BCPP! Headwear

Lemongrass Spa

Lemongrass Spa creates natural, effective products free of parabens, sulfates, and potentially dangerous chemicals. They are offering a limited-edition Pink Healing Balm that soothes skin irritations, restores damage, and creates a protective barrier to shield skin from environmental elements.

Get your Pink Healing Balm! From Oct 1 – Nov 1, $3 of the 6 oz. jar and $2 of the 1 oz. stick will be donated with a $4,000 minimum to directly support BCPP. Healing Balm

myChelle

MyCHELLE

MyCHELLE Dermaceuticals®, founder of the Clean Skincare Movement, is proud to support Breast Cancer Prevention Partners and the meaningful work we do to prevent breast cancer by eliminating our exposure to toxic chemicals linked to the disease.

MyCHELLE purchases help support BCPP with a guaranteed donation of $3,500! Clean Skin

Primally Pure

Primally Pure

Primally Pure products are formulated using real ingredients derived from nature for maximum purity and potency. In order to create truly safe, natural skincare products that offer real, recognizable results, they consult with leading experts in the beauty and wellness industries.

Primally Pure will donate 3.3% of the sale price for each deodorant product sold from Oct 1-31, with a $5,000 donation guaranteed! Skincare

Dapple Baby

Dapple Baby

At Dapple Baby, non-toxic cleaners are tailor-made for households with babies and kids. Join in this month to spread awareness of BCPP and our mission of working to help prevent breast cancer by eliminating our exposure to toxic chemicals.

Each Dapple Baby purchase made will help support a $3,000 donation to BCPP! Cleaners

Vibrant Body

Vibrant Body Company

Vibrant Body Company is a proud leader in creating clean first layers – bras, tank tops, and underwear – for women. Their products are free of harmful toxins and free of wires, but always use the most comfortable fabrics and fits. The EveryWear Bras™ are available in semi-demi or full-coverage fit, and tank tops and underwear are made from lightweight, breathable European silk blend fabrics. Wear clean everywhere.

Now through November 15, buy one The EveryWear Bra™ and get the second for free with code BCPPBOGO. 100% of purchase price goes to BCPP! Layers

Nakd Deodorant

Nakd Deodorant

At Vasarii, they believe that all personal care products created should be cruelty-free, natural, & environmentally friendly. Their natural body deodorant is made of 100% premium natural mineral salts. It is effective for up to 24 hours, it dries instantly, and just like all of their products it is not tested on animals.

This month, Vasarii will donate $1 for every nakd. Thai Crystal Deodorant that they sell on Amazon, with a minimum donation of $2,500 to BCPP! Deodorant

Crunchi

Crunchi

Crunchi is a revolutionary line of high-performance, safe, and toxin-free cosmetics that are redefining beauty. Thankfully, you no longer have to compromise your beauty for your health or your health for your beauty.

a. Crunchi and their beauty consultants from across the country are annual supporters of BCPP. Clean Beauty

Klean Kanteen

Klean Kanteen

Klean Kanteen creates solutions to single use products and uses business as a force for good. Your purchase from this family and employee-owned business allows them to donate directly to organizations like BCPP working to make the world a better place.

Klean has been a long time partner of BCPP, donating close to $300K over the years to support this amazing work! Bottles+

Johnson Outdoors Watercraft_kayak

Johnson Outdoors

Johnson Outdoors is committed to building the finest kayaks and canoes in the world. The Ocean Kayak Venus series was specifically designed for free-spirited women. The super lightweight, easy-to-transport kayak, is loaded with features for all day comfort on the water.

Johnson Outdoors donates 1% of Venus kayaks gross sales to BCPP! Kayak

Innersense

Innersense

Support Breast Cancer Prevention with this limited edition BUFF® CoolNet UV+® Multifunctional Headwear exclusive from Innersense Organic Beauty!

For all of October, 100% of the purchase price ($13) will be donated to support BCPP’s Peak Hike. Headwear

North Face

The North Face

The North Face’s Pink Ribbon Collection proudly supports partners such as BCPP, focused on breast cancer prevention and an active lifestyle. Since 2006, they’ve partnered with BCPP with a shared goal of working towards a world without breast cancer.

Proceeds from this year’s collection contribute $50,000 to BCPP’s mission. Collection

Donate for Charity

Donate for Charity

Have a car you no longer use… been sitting in your driveway forever? Just don’t want to put more money into maintenance for an older vehicle? Please consider donating it on our behalf. We’ve raised over $1 million for BCPP through vehicle donations over the past 20 years.

Call 866-392-4483 or submit a form. BCPP will make 10% more from your donation this October! Car

True Liberty Bags

True Liberty Bags

True Liberty® Bags are ‘The ORIGINAL All-Purpose Bags and Liners’ for people who cook, freeze, camp, hike, bike, hunt, fish, move, store, garden, or grow. Their industrial-strength bags are produced in the USA from FDA-approved, BPA-free nylon: a durable, food-safe material used in countless ways.

Based in N. California, True Liberty® is a woman-owned and community-focused company that prioritizes sustainability, service and partnerships, and is proud to support BCPP. Bags

REMINDER: These products come from fabulous companies that financially support our efforts to prevent breast cancer, so purchases you make also support BCPP!

You can also donate directly to prevent breast cancer.


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