BCPP Diaries

Happy International Women’s Day! Remembering An Incredible Woman

Happy International Women’s Day! Remembering An Incredible Woman

Andrea Ravinett Martin was not a mountaineer, alpinist, or climber. She was a woman committed to doing things that people told her she couldn’t. From playing on the men’s flag football team in college to continuing to thrive when faced with two dire breast cancer diagnoses, Breast Cancer Prevention Partners’ founder challenged society’s expectations and proved to the world that anything is possible when women unite behind a challenge with dedication and perseverance.Read More

Post by BCPP Development Coordinator Sarah Meike

Andrea Ravinett Martin was not a mountaineer, alpinist, or climber. She was a woman committed to doing things that people told her she couldn’t. From playing on the men’s flag football team in college to continuing to thrive when faced with two dire breast cancer diagnoses, Breast Cancer Prevention Partners’ founder challenged society’s expectations and proved to the world that anything is possible when women unite behind a challenge with dedication and perseverance.

This International Women’s Day I would like to honor Andrea’s life and her legacy of empowering all people to push past what they think they can’t do, and rise to their highest peak.

When Andrea Ravinett Martin was first presented with the idea of climbing a 22,841ft mountain to spread the message of breast cancer prevention, she had two strong reactions. First, the idea was absolutely crazy. At the time, the concept of accomplishing major physical feats to fundraise for a disease was unheard of and seemed like a ridiculous concept to most. Second, from that moment on, Andrea was determined to see this idea through.

Not only did she want to defeat breast cancer as a disease so future generations did not have to go through the pain and trauma of the illness, but she also wanted to shift the perspective about breast cancer patients and survivors. She wanted to prove to everyone and herself that breast cancer survivors were not women wasting away in hospital beds, but strong and resilient individuals capable of leading communities, standing up for the causes they believed in, and climbing to the greatest heights our world has to offer. Thus, Climb Against the Odds was born.

In 1995, BCPP, then Breast Cancer Fund, launched its first Climb Against the Odds event on Mt. Aconcagua in Argentina, followed by Mt. McKinley in 1998, Mt. Fuji in 2000 and Mt. Rainier in 2005. In 2006, Climb Against the Odds found its home mountain of Mt. Shasta, where the event has taken place annually for the last 13 years. Andrea’s vision to shout the message of breast cancer prevention from the mountaintops still echoes around the world today.

Climb Against the Odds is not merely a name, but a statement of the reality we all find ourselves in, facing the statistics of 1 in 8 women in the U.S. being diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime. I am so grateful to Andrea Ravinett Martin and so many other women on this International Women’s Day that looked inside themselves and found strength and courage when faced with their own mortality. They are the inspiration that keeps me firmly pointed toward my own personal peaks, one step at a time.

Andrea knew that you didn’t have to be an outdoor enthusiast, Iron Man champion, or climbing expert to set your mind to something and see it through. If you would like to join this lineage of women who climb mountains for breast cancer prevention, I’d love to share more with you about the experience. Click here for more info or contact me directly at sarah@bcpp.org!

Climb Against the Odds is looking for our next team of climbers!

Check out our full itinerary and our learn about this adventure of a lifetime! Email events@bcpp.org with any questions.

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Sarah Meike BCPP Staff Member

Hair Goals: Using Products That Heal and Not Harm

Hair Goals: Using Products That Heal and Not Harm

During my adolescent years in Los Angeles, everyone I knew had natural hair. Of course, we didn’t call it that, we just called it “hair.” No matter how long or short, it had to be perfectly pressed, full of body (see you later 1970’s “grease press”) and healthy in order to be acceptable.Read More

Guest Post by BCPP supporter, Rochelle C.

During my adolescent years in Los Angeles, everyone I knew had natural hair. Of course, we didn’t call it that, we just called it “hair.” No matter how long or short, it had to be perfectly pressed, full of body (see you later 1970’s “grease press”) and healthy in order to be acceptable. There were a few girls here and there who wore their hair in “natural styles” (bantu knots, twists, or afro puffs) but they were the unique ones.

I never thought twice about the products I used on my hair or their chemical makeup. I just used whatever my mom bought from the local beauty supply and went on with my life. No worries.

One product I wouldn’t use however, was a relaxer. Oh, the “Creamy Crack” was a sin in my neighborhood. I was taught that Relaxers were harsh chemicals and they damage your hair. So you can imagine the culture shock I experienced when I went away to college in the south and everyone’s hair was relaxed. I mean EVERYONE! It was the complete opposite of what I had known. Suddenly, all of us (the California girls) became the unique ones. We wore protective styles (braids, extensions, etc.) to maintain our hair because we struggled to find stylists who could competently style our natural tresses without subjecting us to the dreaded “Creamy Crack.”

Unfortunately, after years of resisting, I gave in to the convenience and permanently straightened my hair. It was a short season. After four years of routine touch ups, I noticed that although my hair was growing longer, it was also thinning. It wouldn’t hold a curl anymore and lacked the body and fullness that I knew it was capable of, sans relaxer.

It was time for a change. Time to get rid of the chemicals and get back to my God given coils.

As I navigated my way through my transitioning journey, I realized that some of the products that were formulated for black hair contained some of the same harmful chemicals as the relaxer I was trying to get away from. Most commonly, Parabens, Mineral Oils and Petroleum, and Artificial Fragrance. That’s a ton of chemical exposure when you consider how many hair care products black women use daily. We can possibly increase our cancer risk through a product as simple as a shampoo. I mean, isn’t life hard enough? Well, now that I know better, I’m doing better. And today, I’m going to help you do better too.

Parabens

It’s 2019, so by now we should have heard about the dangers of Parabens. If not, allow me. As a self-taught product formulator, one of the first things I learned was that parabens are the best preservative you can use. They’re broad spectrum and can protect against bacterial growth, mold and yeast for years. So, what’s the problem? Parabens are endocrine disruptors, which can mimic estrogen in your body and may lead to thyroid conditions, fibroid tumors and an increased risk of breast cancer. You’ll most likely find them in your shampoo, conditioner, or any water-based product, since they all need to be preserved to maintain their shelf life. If you want to avoid parabens, be sure to read the ingredients on the back of the products. You’ll find them listed as butylparabens, propylparabens, or yuckyparabens. Yeah, I made that last one up. 😊

Mineral Oils and Petroleum

Mineral Oils and Petroleum are two ingredients that I was all too familiar with as they’re the foundation of most hair grease and scalp oils made for black hair. Unfortunately, these two ingredients are cut from the same cloth: The petroleum refining process. So what the heck are they doing in our hair products? Well, mineral oil and petroleum are both emollients and are generally used to form a barrier on the hair and skin to prevent moisture loss. They’re also inexpensive. While this doesn’t sound like a bad idea, the problem with these compounds is the potential contamination risk during the refining process. Although the studies are conflicting regarding their carcinogenic properties, I still avoid these ingredients to make sure that I’m not exposing myself to any potential toxins.

Fragrance

True story. One day I’m in the grocery store and the cashier asks if I used a certain cloyingly sweet coconut-scented product in my hair. I laughed and asked how he knew my business. “Oh, my whole family uses that product so I can recognize that smell anywhere.” See, that right there should tell you that there’s absolutely Too. Much. Fragrance. in a product if someone can smell it from several feet away! Clearly product manufacturers don’t think so. They also don’t seem to be concerned with the fact that added fragrance ingredients can also be, you guessed it, Endocrine Disruptors! They’re also linked to cancer, birth defects, and allergies! See, I’m not sure where you are in your life, but I’m still child bearing age, and I don’t need anything disrupting my hormones and affecting my fertility. The best way to avoid the worst fragrance ingredients is to purchase products that are fragrance-free or fully disclose their fragrance ingredients (including essential oils). I know it may be tough to let go of your favorite fruity yum-yum products, but it’s just not worth it, friend.

It has been 6 years since I began my pursuit to return to my natural hair roots, and I don’t regret it one bit. My hair is the healthiest it’s been in years and it all comes down to one simple principle: “Natural hair care requires natural products.” Our bodies are designed to heal themselves, and honestly, a lot of our hair (and body) care products do not complement that process.  We have come a long way in the natural hair community when it comes to producing high quality hair care products, but some of them are still heavy laden with harmful toxins. Come on, sis! Let’s toss those products and prioritize our long-term health goals over our short-term hair goals.  Let me know if you need my help 😊

Rochelle C. is a supporter of BCPP and the Co-Owner of LiveFree Natural Home & Body Care (www.livefreenhbc.com), a company that specializes in formulating all natural home and body care products and teaches community classes on the dangers of harmful chemicals in everyday personal care products. 


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Rochelle C. Co-Owner, LiveFree Natural Home and Body Care

My experience as a BCPP intern

My experience as a BCPP intern

I saw Breast Cancer Prevention Partners (BCPP) in an email with Bay Area summer internship opportunities. It’s an organization that works at the intersection of women’s health, environmental health, and marginalized communities’ health disparities. I realized this was the place I needed to be.Read More

Guest Post by 2018 BCPP Marketing & Communications Intern Maria Gramajo

My name is Maria and I am a third-year student at American University in Washington, D.C. I am pursuing a BA in American Studies and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies as well as a minor in Sustainability. My specific focus is the intersection of what it means to be Latinx in the U.S., health, gender, and environment in the NGO sector. I decided to intern to study how these issues work together outside of the classroom to gain more knowledge on each of these topics. Not a lot of well-known NGO’s look at their work as intersectional, so I thought I would simply need to do multiple internships to cover my study focus.

Then I saw Breast Cancer Prevention Partners (BCPP) in an email with Bay Area summer internship opportunities. It’s an organization that works at the intersection of women’s health, environmental health, and marginalized communities’ health disparities. I realized this was the place I needed to be. I applied to be a Communications and Marketing Intern, as I thought I would be able to learn and also work to pull resources and content together for people like me, who may not understand the science behind breast cancer and what increases our cancer risk.

This internship, although short, left me prepared to go back to D.C. to work toward eliminating health disparities for communities that marginalized communities face and are often blamed for. This internship allowed me to understand how lucky I am to come from the Bay Area and go to school in a city like D.C.

I also became more aware of the products I choose when shopping at the store, and I have slowly been able to rid myself of products full of harmful chemicals. Interning at BCPP made me aware of the fact that there are businesses trying to be socially and environmentally conscious, some of my favorites being Juice Beauty and Klean Kanteen.

At BCPP, I was able to gain a better sense of what I hope to do post-graduation as well as the work that I find meaningful. I am beyond happy to have spent my summer here and have learned so much from everyone. I am especially grateful for everything that my supervisor, Erika, did to ensure I learned as much as I could while here.

BCPP is looking for our next Summer Intern!

Check out our We’re Hiring page for our open internships and apply today.


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BCPP Marketing Communications Intern 2018 Maria Gramajo

BCPP Ensures Safer Kids’ Toys

BCPP Ensures Safer Kids’ Toys

As you look back on toys you gave to your children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews this holiday season, you can rest easier knowing that the kids’ toys you bought are free of some very toxic chemicals called phthalates! The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) banned six phthalates in a federal law celebrating its 10th anniversary of safer toys for children.Read More

As you look back on toys you gave to your children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews this holiday season, you can rest easier knowing that the kids’ toys you bought are free of some very toxic chemicals called phthalates! The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) banned six phthalates in a federal law celebrating its 10th anniversary of safer toys for children.

In 2008, Congress passed the CPSIA, a massive bill providing the most significant improvements to the federal Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) since the agency was established in the 1970s. The law gives CPSC more authority to ensure the safety of toys and other products sold in the U.S. BCPP worked with U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) to include an important provision in the bill that banned the use of six phthalates in toys and childcare articles – three permanently and three provisionally pending a review of the scientific evidence of harm. While the bill passed 10 years ago, the wheels of government unfortunately move very slowly. Full implementation of the phthalates provision wasn’t finalized until October 2017.

What the heck are phthalates?

Phthalates (THA- lāts) are a class of chemicals often used to make plastics soft and toys, like rubber duckies, squishy. The problem is that many phthalates disrupt our bodies delicate endocrine system which controls healthy childhood development. Additionally, exposure to phthalates has been linked to a variety of health issues including breast cancer, obesity and asthma.

What are phthalates doing in kids’ toys?

Phthalates are found in a wide variety of products including plastics, personal care products, food packaging, cleaning products, insecticides, pharmaceuticals, building materials, home décor…and, until the passage of the CPSIA in 2008, children’s toys. Prior to 2008, there was no limit on the amount or type of phthalates that could be used in children’s products; and most parents were unaware they were even there. However these dangerous chemicals have been a major cause of concern for BCPP for over a decade which is when we began our advocacy efforts to ban them from children’s toys at the local, state and federal level. This has been an all hands on deck effort: Our then staff person Gretchen Lee Salter led the charge to successfully ban phthalates from kids’ toys here in California; our Director of Program and Policy Janet Nudelman led a campaign to secure passage of a federal bill that banned phthalates from kids’ toys nationally, and our senior policy strategist Nancy Buermeyer has overseen our organizational efforts to fight off industry attempts to weaken and roll-back the federal ban.

Bringing the Toxic Toys Bill to the finish line

Even through President Bush signed the ban on phthalates in kids’ toys into law in August 2008, the work to pass, implement and protect this important law began years before and continues to this day. With the help of our supporters around the country and our NGO partners, BCPP has been a leader at every step of the process. We started by working to pass California legislation in 2007 that banned six phthalates from children’s toys sold in the state and helped other states to introduce similar laws. In total, 3 states – California, Washington and Vermont – enacted laws to ban phthalates from toys and childcare articles. Buoyed by our success at the state level, U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein took up the issue. She introduced an identical bill in congress in the Fall of 2007 and soon thereafter offered the bill language as an amendment to the Senate version of CPSIA. BCPP enlisted the help of environmental health, public health, and consumer advocates, as well as Congressional champions in both the House and Senator, to secure the inclusion of the phthalates provision in the final bill voted on by congress. A huge safety victory for kids and parents!

However, the 2008 passage of the bill was not the end of the story. BCPP, along with powerful NGO allies including the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), worked together to ensure the law was implemented in a health-protective way. The bill called for the formation of a blue-ribbon scientific panel to review the body of scientific evidence showing harm from the phthalates banned by the law and additional phthalates that were likely to be considered as alternatives. The panel issued its report in mid-2014, with a recommendation that a total of 8 phthalates be banned from toys. Despite this clear directive, which the science panel took 6 years to issue, the CPSC took another 3 years acting only after NRDC, BCPP and the Environmental Justice Health Alliance for Chemical Policy Reform (EJHA) filed a federal lawsuit demanding it adopt the science panel’s recommendations. The CPSC issued a final rule codifying the panel’s recommendations in October 2017.

Just when we thought the process was finished and the phthalate ban would finally be fully implemented, another legal obstacle appeared. Industry trade groups filed a lawsuit in federal court in December 2017 in an attempt to undo this public health victory. These industry groups included the American Chemistry Council (ACC), the trade association for the chemical industry, the National Association of Manufacturers and three Texas-based industry groups. Fortunately, the ban on the eight phthalates remains in effect while the lawsuit proceeds. NRDC, EJHA and BCPP interceded in the lawsuit to help protect this important measure, which is intended to keep kids everywhere safe from hormonally active chemicals in the toys they play with and chew on.

Celebrating 10 years of safer kids’ toys

This holiday season, and every year, childrens’ toys will be a little safer thanks to BCPP and all the organizations that fought to make this important federal law a reality. We continue to defend it against attacks by the chemical industry. As we celebrate the tenth anniversary of the CPSIA and the amazing strides in environmental public health safety since its passage, we look forward to building an even safer future for our children by continuing to enact policies that prevent breast cancer by reducing our exposure to toxic chemicals. It’s difficult work, but as every parent knows, it’s worth it.

Happy Holidays from Nancy, Janet, and all of us at BCPP!

Take Action

Make the products we buy, the food we eat, and the air we breathe safer by taking this quick action online!


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Food Tips for Safer Holidays

Food Tips for Safer Holidays

BCPP Board Member and founder of Sprout San Francisco Suzanne Price offers her tips and recommendations for healthy holiday cooking! Read More

Guest Post by BCPP Board Member, Suzanne Price

As my family gears up for the holiday season, I am planning for lots of cooking and lots of storing and reheating of leftovers. Though I consider myself to be already very conscious about the products in my home, I know that new concerns are surfacing all the time and laws are always changing. Therefore, I look to BCPP to provide guidance on how to provide the healthiest cooking experience for my family and especially for my young daughters.

I often refer to the below tips on BCPP’s site:

1. Kick the can

Though many canned goods manufacturers have declared that they have removed BPA from their can linings, it is still unclear if the replacement chemicals are any better.

My family always aims for non-canned alternatives.

2. Get out of plastic

Plastics can leach harmful chemicals like BPA and phthalates into your food and beverages and then into you. BCPP reminds us to never, ever microwave plastic — even “microwave-safe” plastic can leach chemicals into food when heated.

To further evidence of this point, the American Academy of Pediatrics just issued guidance against the harmful effects of food packaging on children’s health.

3. Ditch Teflon pots and pans

Some toxic compounds are used in non-stick cookware. While they keep food and stains from sticking, they stick around in the environment and in the body for a very long time, and have been linked to cancer. BCPP suggests making the switch to cast iron, ceramic, anodized aluminum cookware, and glass bakeware. Prioritize replacing cookware used over high heat and pieces that are scratched.

If you are like me, the whole house can smell the fumes while you are cooking a good meal. Imagine what is in that air if the pan you are cooking in is toxic?

4. Go organic and eat chemical-free

Organic produce is grown without harmful pesticides and herbicides. When we eat meat and dairy products, we also eat the residue of what those animals ate. Choose hormone-free beef and dairy to eliminate your consumption of pesticides and growth hormones that may contribute to an increased risk of breast cancer.

5. Include soy, but don’t overdo it

According to BCPP, natural plant-based estrogens in soy may provide healthy benefits in low doses, but may be a risk factor for breast cancer in higher doses.

6. Limit red meat and processed meat products

Recent research is showing increased evidence of a link between high red meat consumption around adolescence and later life breast cancer. Processed meat is also recognized as a carcinogen.

In my home, we teach the kids to eat lots of vegetables, and we try not to base every meal around meat. When we do end up cooking a lot of meat, especially around the holidays, we always aim for grass fed beef and organic poultry, locally produced if possible.

In terms of food, there are always lots of treats floating around during the holidays. A recent BCPP victory opened my eyes to the carcinogens in certain artificial food additives called ‘flavorings’ that you find in baked goods, candies, ice creams, and other holiday treats.

In 2016, BCPP signed a petition requesting the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) to withdraw approval for seven carcinogens that are used as flavorings in food. In May of this year, they joined an Earthjustice lawsuit to force FDA to respond to the petition, which was almost two years past the statutory deadline for action. In addition to BCPP as an organization signing on to the case, fellow board member Hendy submitted a formal declaration, providing the personal voice of a breast cancer survivor.

BCPP and Earthjustice WON the suit!  The FDA just published a rule withdrawing approval for all 7 carcinogens, including such nasty chemicals as styrene. Here is the list of all 7:

    • Benzophenone
    • Ethyl acrylate
    • Eugenyl methyl
    • Myrcene
    • Pulegone
    • Pyridine
    • Styrene

However, the government will not enforce this rule until October of 2020. So, for this holiday season, do not assume these flavors have been removed! Try to avoid packaged treats and baked goods with the word ‘flavors’ on the ingredient list.

Here are some examples of where you will find these flavors:

Some of this information may seem overwhelming, and we can never follow all of these tips perfectly, especially with lots of family around and other people cooking for us! I always suggest you do what you can do and remember that less exposure is better than more. Every little bit helps!

Wishing you a happy and healthy holiday season.

Suzanne Price is a board member of BCPP and the founder of Sprout San Francisco (www.sproutsanfrancisco.com), a chain of children’s boutiques selling products that are natural, organic, and free of toxic chemicals.


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Climb Against the Odds 2018

Climb Against the Odds 2018

A look back at the incredible group of individuals who came together in 2018 from across the U.S. to climb Mount Shasta to shout BCPP’s message of breast cancer prevention from the mountaintops.Read More

Here’s to Climb Team ’18 

Climbing a mountain is an incredible experience and no small feat– and making an impact is even better! This incredible group of individuals came together in June of 2018 to spread the message of breast cancer prevention and attempt to summit Mount Shasta, a 14,179-ft. peak in northern California. They hailed from a wide variety of backgrounds and had a huge range of outdoor experience. It was no daisy walk, but they persevered and supported each other with every step. Together this team raised over $180,000 for breast cancer preventionhelping to protect our families, our communities, and future generations from toxic harm.

We’re looking at you, future Shasta climbers. 

Our founder, Andrea Martin, said that we need to shout the message of breast cancer prevention from the mountain tops. And that’s exactly what we do. Now’s the time to start on this journey of a lifetime. Get started today! 

Get to know the 2018 climbers.

Click any image below to find out about our 2018 climb team members.


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breast cancer prevention partners bcpp logo

Breast Cancer PREVENTION Month Guide

Breast Cancer PREVENTION Month Guide

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 at BCPP call it Breast Cancer Prevention Month!Read More

Quick tips + October offers from our partners

You may know October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but we at BCPP call it 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.

We work hard to stop breast cancer before it starts by protecting our bodies and environment from toxic chemicals linked to the disease. Some of the most frequently asked questions that we hear are “what are some prevention tips?” and “what are some clean, safe products I can use?” Well, have no fear, BCPP is here with our top tips and partner guide filled with trustworthy, healthy products for purchase this October!

Tips for you:

1. Read ingredient labels

It is perfectly legal to use ingredients linked to cancer, endocrine disruption, and reproductive harm in personal care products, cosmetics, cleaning products and food packaging. Check our Glossary of Exposures to learn more.

2. Avoid ‘fragrance’ on ingredient labels

Fragrance (or parfum) is a cocktail of ingredients that can include dozens of potentially harmful chemicals. As often as possible, avoid purchasing and using personal care products, cleaning products, clothing, and home goods that list ‘fragrance’ as an ingredient.

3. Wash your hands

Washing your hands kills germs and reduces exposures to unsafe chemicals. Many chemicals from everyday products end up in household (or workplace) dust. Washing dust off your hands reduces exposure to toxic chemicals, like flame retardants. Avoid antimicrobial soaps because they often contain hormone-disrupting chemicals.

4. Go fresh, organic, and hormone-free

Choose fresh, organic, and hormone-free foods in order to avoid exposure to pesticides, added hormones, and other possible toxic chemicals in packaged foods. Buying products grown organically reduces pesticide use, which is good for families, farm workers, and the environment, and eating fresh (or frozen) foods helps you to avoid chemicals like BPA in food can linings.

5. Don’t be brainwashed, greenwashed or pinkwashed

Companies use savvy marketing to sell products, so don’t let false claims trick you into buying products with harmful ingredients. Watch out for products designed to look like they are good for the environment or natural. This is called green washing — words like “natural” and “safe” have little, if any, meaning without ingredient labels to back them up. Be wary of products boasting a pink ribbon, too. Many pinkwashed products contain chemicals linked to cancer, and often do little to prevent or reduce breast cancer.

For more tips that cover personal care products, cleaning products, food packaging, workplaces, and more, click here.

Products for you:

At BCPP, our partners in prevention are businesses that value the health and well-being of all. Check out our safe Breast Cancer Prevention Month guide below, filled with amazing partner products that you’ll want to snag before they go!

Juice Beauty

Feed your skin

The new & improved Liquid Lip formula from Juice Beauty applies like a slick liquid lipstick and wears like a lip stain. Formulated with an intense concentration of plant-derived pigments (instead of artificial dyes) and organic ingredients. Available in 8 beautiful shades named by Gwyneth Paltrow for herself, her daughter, her mother and her celebrity friends. During October, Juice Beauty will donate $1 to BCPP for every Liquid Lip sold at all its USA retailers and on juicebeauty.com.

Sustain Natural

No harmful chemicals

Sustain was founded to empower women to get on top of their sexual and reproductive health with products that protect their bodies, their partners’ bodies and the world. How? By creating the first line of organic, vagina-friendly tampons, pads, condoms, lubricants and more. Load up on your products today.

The North Face

Resolve jacket

Every year The North Face donates to Breast Cancer Prevention Partners and honors breast cancer awareness month by coming out with gear that supports the cause of prevention. Get your resolve jacket.

Crunchi

Let’s focus on prevention

Breast Cancer Prevention Month is here and if you’re searching for safe lipstick that performs, we’ve got you covered! Crunchi is donating $3 to BCPP with every purchase of the “Blissful” Luxe Lipstick. The looks you can create with our revolutionary, safe cosmetics are endless. Head to Crunchi.com to grab your Blissful Luxe Lipstick today.

Buff

The original multifunctional headwear band

BUFF developed and introduced the seamless tubular headwear category. Dedicated to quality, innovation, performance, and UV protection, the BUFF® product line continues to mindfully grow with Hats, Caps, and Arm Sleeves. For us here at BUFF® it is about making memories and the experience along the way – LIVE MORE NOW. Get your buff.

CRYSTAL

Safety armed with confidence

Since 1984, CRYSTAL has been creating deodorants with Mineral Salts and Sodium Bicarbonate to provide safe and reliable odor protection. Natural minerals and other botanically-derived ingredients stop odor before it starts without blocking pores, allowing the body to function naturally. You can feel confident that you are doing right by your body and the environment. Use code BCPP30 to receive 30% off your entire purchase on thecrystal.com from October 2 – 16, 2018 with a percentage of all net sales going to BCPP to support a $5,000 minimum donation in 2018.

The Organic Pharmacy

Natural, organic beauty products

Only the best organic ingredients, honest expert know-how, quality service and incredibly effective products in a wellness environment. This is the core belief behind The Organic Pharmacy and the results-driven, organically formulated, high-tech products the brand offer.

“The Organic Pharmacy was the realisation of my dream: to bring under one roof professional client advise, an exceptional, personal service that enables me to form a bond with my clients, and the best products in the world that are free from toxins” – Margo Marrone. Get yours today.

Balega

Running socks for the everyday woman

At Balega, we are a community. We are a community dedicated to each other and dedicated to making the finest running socks. Balega was founded on the principle of Ubuntu – a respect for humanity built on love and goodwill. That’s why we support BCPP, and salute all the hard-working, fun-loving, marathon-running, rock-star women.
Get your must have socks now!

Seventh Generation

No harmful chemicals

From creating paper mache masks to searching through the recycling bin, creating Halloween costumes that won’t frighten the planet can be easy. Find safe products for your home from our trusted partners at Seventh Generation. Get your products today.

Good Eggs

Florist’s choice bouquet

In support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Good Eggs will donate $1 to Breast Cancer Prevention Partners for every BCPP Seasonal Petite Bouquet purchased in October. Each bouquet is hand-arranged by the Good Eggs Floral Team with seasonal flowers from their favorite farms. Grab your bouquet here today.


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Erika Wilhelm_BCPP

It’s a Fragrance Ingredient Transparency Race to the Top

It’s a Fragrance Ingredient Transparency Race to the Top

A cosmetics industry movement toward greater fragrance ingredient transparency enables shoppers to make better informed, healthier choices. Read More

Post by BCPP Director of Program & Policy, Janet Nudelman 

Smart Companies Practice Ingredient Transparency for Health-Conscious Customers

Over the past decade, in response to consumer and worker demands for ingredient transparency, we’ve seen more and more cosmetic companies – large and small – adopt fragrance ingredient disclosure policies.

For years, many dozens of small to medium size “safe cosmetics companies” have been voluntarily disclosing their fragrance ingredients including California Baby, Intelligent Nutrients, Aubrey Organics, EO Products, Herban Lifestyle, Honeybee Gardens, Intelligent Nutrients, Iredale Mineral Cosmetics Juice Beauty, Osea International, ThinkBaby, True Botanicals, W.S. Badger Company, and Beautycounter.

Notably, in February 2017, Unilever became the first multinational to announce it would voluntarily disclose fragrance ingredients in their entire U.S. and EU portfolio of personal care and cleaning products down to 100 ppm (0.01%). We like that Unilever has provided multiple ways for consumers to access fragrance ingredient information:  through their brand websites or by scanning a QR code that appears on the product label, both of which link to the SmartLabel™ program. Procter & Gamble followed suit six months later announcing an almost identical fragrance ingredient disclosure policy. An important aspect of P&G’s policy is that they include a “red list” of fragrance ingredients on their website they will not to use in their products.

Unilever is the 2nd largest cosmetic company in the world and P&G is the largest consumer products company in the world, which suggests that companies are finally responding to calls from consumers and workers for product ingredient transparency. Companies cite that disclosing in-depth product and ingredient information for home, beauty, and personal care shoppers builds brand trust. Providing full product information helps shoppers to assess product ingredients based on health concerns and make informed purchasing decisions.

Unilever SmartLabel™ updates are due to be complete by the end of 2018 and they have publicly reported they are on track to meet that goal. By 2019, P&G pledged to begin disclosing the “secret” fragrance ingredients in over 2000 of its beauty, fabric, home and feminine hygiene products in the U.S. and Canada. According to P&G, after they meet their initial 2019 goal, they will expand into other product categories and into the other 180 countries where they do business.

 

Johnson & Johnson joins the race

The newest multinational cosmetics company to join the fragrance ingredient disclosure race to the top is Johnson & Johnson, the world’s 8th largest cosmetic company. On July 5th, J&J announced it would provide on-line disclosure of fragrance ingredients present in their baby products at concentrations of 100 ppm (0.01 percent) or greater. The transparency effort was rolled out as part of a relaunch of J&J’s baby care line on August 1, 2018, less than a month after its fragrance ingredient disclosure policy was publicly announced.

J&J also wins points for the extensive global scope of its fragrance disclosure initiative – compared to its competitors – which covers J&J products sold in the US, China, Canada, and India. We also like the fact that J&J discloses fragrance ingredients online through product web pages, given that’s where many consumers go to find ingredient information, in addition to the SmartLabel™ program. Like P&G, J&J also discloses online the fragrance palette it uses for its baby products. In addition, all three of these fragrance ingredient disclosure leaders are voluntarily labeling fragrance allergens according to EU standards.

On the flip side, however, J&J needs to catch up to Unilever and P&G by committing to disclose fragrance ingredients for its adult product lines as well. And all three of these multinational giants should announce a timeline and benchmarks for expanding their fragrance ingredient disclosure initiatives to the rest of the global markets where they do business.

Kudos to Unilever, Procter & Gamble, and Johnson & Johnson for paving the way for fragrance ingredient disclosure in personal care and beauty products. Despite their massive size, and the considerable number of brands these three companies represent, their fragrance disclosure policies include specifics regarding where, how, and when they will begin disclosing fragrance ingredients.

 

L’Oréal’s vague and uninspired fragrance announcement

In contrast, it’s hard to get excited about L’Oréal’s announcement that it too would begin disclosing fragrance ingredients given its lack of specificity.

L’Oréal, the world’s largest cosmetic company, announced in June 2018 that it would begin disclosing the secret fragrance ingredients in its beauty products. Said a L’Oréal spokesperson in a June 7, 2018 article in Chemical Watch:

We would like to take this opportunity to state our future goal of communicating to a larger extent the composition of our perfumes in all our products, in a way that meets the expectations of our consumers and ensures their safety while at the same time fully respecting the know-how of our perfume creators and protecting us from the major risks of fine fragrance counterfeiting.

Unlike its competitors, and true to form for L’Oréal, the multinational giant’s announcement lacked specifics as to where, when, and how that disclosure would take place. While it’s great to hear major multinationals using the word ‘transparency,’ we’re not holding our breath for full fragrance ingredient transparency any time soon given L’Oréal’s lengthy track record of vague and unfulfilled promises.

 

A decade of advocacy

L’Oréal’s fragrance disclosure announcement comes after a decade of advocacy by BCPP and our Campaign for Safe Cosmetics urging L’Oréal to adopt a company-wide fragrance ingredient disclosure policy.

In July 2017, representatives from BCPP’s Campaign for Safe Cosmetics and U.S. PIRG visited the L’Oréal headquarters in New York to deliver over 150,000 petition signatures gathered by our coalitions as well as MomsRising, Credo and Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families demanding the company remove dangerous chemicals and fully disclose fragrance chemicals. Yet despite the tens of thousands of letters and the hundreds of thousands of petition signatures it has received over the years supporting these demands, L’Oréal continues to lag behind its competitors.

 

Secret fragrance ingredients & why we need labeling

The terms “fragrance” or “parfum” on the label of a shampoo, body lotion, deodorant, lipstick or fine fragrance can hide dozens – even hundreds – of chemicals that companies are not required to disclose. This is a problem for consumers because a large and growing body of scientific evidence has linked common fragrance chemicals to cancer, endocrine disruption, asthma and other health concerns as well as water and air pollution.

Fragrance is big business in the U.S. and abroad. In 2017, the global fragrance market was nearly $70 billion and by 2024, the global fragrance market is estimated to be worth about 92 billion U.S. dollars. (Statista) However, despite the vast and growing size of the fragrance industry, there’s no one minding the store. The fragrance industry is entirely self-regulated with no federal or state guidelines of any kind dictating the safety of fragrance chemicals nor the disclosure of fragrance ingredients to manufacturers, regulatory agencies or consumers. Which is why more and more environmental health organizations like ours and more and more consumers are calling for full fragrance ingredient disclosure – so they can make safer, more informed purchases.

 

Calling for transparency we can believe in

In addition to L’Oréal’s vagueness on the new fragrance ingredient policy, the company has a disappointing track record of not making good on its promises. That’s why the vague nature of their most recent announcement generated some heartache for us here at the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics.

We wish we could applaud L’Oréal for taking this step toward fragrance ingredient disclosure, but first we need more information because, ironically, their fragrance transparency policy lacks transparency. To win the public’s trust, L’Oréal should disclose:

  1. Which L’Oréal products and brands will be covered by this announcement;
  2. What they plan to disclose;
  3. Where disclosure will take place;
  4. When L’Oréal fragrance ingredient disclosure will take place;
  5. And, most critical of all – how the public will be informed about their progress.

We will hold our applause until we hear more and invite you to do the same.

 

Raise the bar: voluntary fragrance ingredient disclosure initiatives

In an ideal world, our federal law would require full ingredient transparency—including fragrance chemicals — in personal care, cosmetic and cleaning products, so that everyone could assess product information to bring safer products into their homes and their workplaces.

Instead, lobbying by industry trade associations and big multinational cosmetic companies has consistently blocked efforts to federally require full ingredient disclosure in cleaning products and personal care products. These trade associations have not kept pace with industry transparency best practices and instead cater to their membership’s lowest common denominator.

While consumers and workers wait for congress to get around to adopting meaningful, federal cosmetic safety legislation, we call on the $84 billion cosmetic industry to do a better job of self-regulating the safety of the fragrance chemicals they use. Disclosure is the first step to getting there. BCPP and our Campaign for Safe Cosmetics challenge cosmetic companies to meet our fragrance ingredient challenge.

 

This is what full fragrance ingredient disclosure looks like:

  • Companies disclosure all intentionally added fragrance ingredients, regardless of concentration, to consumers.
    • We know fragrance chemicals can be present in a fragrance at much lower levels than 100 ppm, the current industry “high bar” for fragrance disclosure. This is especially important for endocrine-disrupting compounds that can harm human health at extremely low levels of exposure.
  • Product manufacturers require full fragrance ingredient disclosure – and safety data – from their fragrance suppliers.
  • Disclosure occurs throughout a company’s entire product portfolio, including both retail products, professional-use products, and the global market. Fragrance ingredients are listed on brand websites.
  • Online retail sites such as Drugstore.com and Amazon.com disclose all fragrance ingredients for the company’s products sold there.
  • Manufacturers utilize a restricted substances list (RSL) of fragrance chemicals of concern (aka as a “red list” or “do not use”) list or provide that RSL to their fragrance supplier or independent perfumer to ensure that the chemicals used to formulate their fragrances are safe for human health.

Get Involved

Check out our action center for ways you can get involved to tell companies and our elected officials that we deserve safer ingredients and full ingredient transparency.


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Back to School Toxic-Free Tips & Product Guide

Back to School Toxic-Free Tips & Product Guide

It’s the start of September, which means you’ve probably already sent your kids to school or are prepping them for their first day. When buying (or replacing) your child’s school supplies, beware of common back-to-school items that can contain toxic ingredients. Read More

It’s the start of September, which means you’ve probably already sent your kids to school or are prepping them for their first day. When buying (or replacing) your child’s school supplies, beware of common back-to-school items that can contain toxic ingredients:

1. Backpacks & lunchboxes are often made with PVC (polyvinyl chloride), which is widely considered to be the most toxic plastic to our health and environment. Look for backpacks made of canvas, cotton, or other natural materials, and reusable lunch boxes made from stainless steel or canvas.

2. Binders & pencil holders may contain phthalates – plastic-softening chemicals linked to early puberty in girls, reproductive system harm, and other health concerns. Look for fabric pencil cases made of cotton or canvas, binders made from paperboard, and uncoated paper folders.

3. Crayons may contain asbestos – a toxic material that causes cancer. Buy soy, beeswax, or natural-based crayons as an alternative.

4. Many school supplies contain secret fragrance chemicals that smell fun for kids, but are full of hidden dangers. Fragrance can be made of dozens of chemicals that companies are allowed to keep secret – even if those chemicals are linked to cancer, ADHD, and other health concerns. Look for “fragrance-free” school supplies.

5. Many single-use and reusable water bottles are made with plastic, which may contain harmful bisphenols like BPA, BPS, or BPF that leach endocrine disrupting chemicals. Ditch plastic and choose reusable stainless steel or glass bottles instead.

For more information, check out the Coalition for Healthier Schools Action Kit, MADE SAFE’s Tips for Safer Back to School Supplies, and U.S. Public Interest Research Group’s new study “Safer School Supplies: Shopping Guide” on harmful chemicals in everyday school supplies.

What about products?

At BCPP, our partners in prevention are businesses that value the health and well-being of all. Check out our safe Back-to-School guide below, filled with fabulous partner products you’ll fall in love with!

The North Face

Explore new, empowering kids clothes

Be the first in school to have these latest styles! The North Face fundamental mission remains unchanged since 1966: provide the best gear for our athletes and the modern day explorer, support the preservation of the outdoors, and inspire a global movement of exploration. Get your shop on today at thenorthface.com!

MyChelle Dermaceuticals

Clean Science. Professional Results.

Ban blemishes before the first bell rings with MyChelle Dermaceuticals Clear Skin products. The Clear Skin collection contains NatureClear Complex™, an exclusive, powerful blend of Dermasyr Lilac Stem Cells to inhibit breakouts, Yogurtene to counteract bacteria, Grape Stem Cells to protect against oxidative stress, Probiotics to prevent surface impurities, and Aloesin to reduce the appearance of redness and discoloration. Together, these non-irritating ingredients help control oil and clear blemishes for a smoother, more refined texture.

Osprey

Lifestyle | Everyday | Commute

Simple, functional, and ready for anything and every day, the Arcane Series introduces comfort and intelligent design to stylish packs that appeal to urban warriors. By combining comfortable carry, function, and style, we offer a better solution and promise. Shop the Arcane Series now.

Klean Kanteen

Tare It Up

Our popular Tare It Up® Food Canisters replace a lifetime of throw-away plastic containers and bags. They’re ready for the bulk-food aisle at the grocery store, sturdy enough to tote restaurant leftovers home to the fridge, and perfect for transporting food to work, school, or on your next adventure. Our Vacuum Insulated Food Canisters are especially great for keeping food cold and fresh or piping hot. Get yours here.

Buff

The original multifunctional headwear band

BUFF® developed and introduced the seamless tubular headwear category. Dedicated to quality, innovation, performance, and UV protection, the BUFF® product line continues to mindfully grow with Hats, Caps, and Arm Sleeves. For us here at BUFF® it is about making memories and the experience along the way – LIVE MORE NOW. Get yours today.

Juice Beauty

Feed your skin

Play it subtle or amp up the drama this school year! Juice Beauty brings you long wear, hydrating formulas colored with intense plant-derived Phyto-Pigments instead of artificial dyes, and formulated without carbon black and animal glue. Antioxidant-rich textures for shading lids and outlining eyes while protecting against free radicals. Visit juicebeauty.com!


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Erika Wilhelm_BCPP

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