The fall quarter always brings a flurry of activity, especially with October’s Breast Cancer Prevention Month. Keep reading for our impact report back on policy, science, and community events all made possible by your generous support.
NEW Federal Bills: Food and Cosmetics
BCPP is officially supporting TWO new federal bills, both of which target the safety of food and cosmetics. The No Toxics in Food Packaging Act, authored by U.S. Representative Jan Schakowsky, will ban two classes of toxic chemicals and five additional worst-of-the-worst chemicals in food packaging and processing. The No PFAS in Cosmetics Act will ban the entire class of PFAS chemicals from cosmetics and prohibit the entire supply chain from intentionally adding PFAS to cosmetic ingredients, products, or packaging. The No PFAS bill is a national version of our BCPP-sponsored California PFAS-Free Cosmetics Act, which was successfully signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom in 2021!
We will collaborate with NGO partners to strengthen and broaden support for these bills by providing a breast cancer prevention lens to educate key decision makers and the public, and by creating and sharing awareness-raising content.
Building Non-Toxic Black Beauty Ambassadors
On September 26 and 27, BCPP collaborated with our partners Black Women for Wellness (BWW) and the LA chapter president of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women (NCBW) to host a 2-day virtual Beauty Justice Train-the-Trainer program for NCBW California chapter presidents. 36 registrants and 20 live attendees took part in the training event, which featured noted public health professional Dr. Dede Teteh as a key speaker. Participants learned about the Non-Toxic Black Beauty Project; how to use various databases and tools to protect their health; how to share information with their constituencies; and current opportunities to take action to advocate for stronger protections for women for color. Following the event, we sent out follow-up surveys to gather participant feedback. Going forward, we will continue collaborating with BWW to plan and organize in-person Train-the-Trainer programs for Black sororities and doulas, tentatively planned for Q4 2023 or Q1 2024.
Toxic Fragrances & Drinking Water Contaminants
BCPP is collaborating with the Healthy Building Network (HBN) to compare the International Fragrance Association (IFRA) fragrance palette to its Pharos chemical hazard database, create hazard profiles for the 3,629 ingredients on the IFRA transparency list, and generate a report describing this project’s findings. Our evaluation shows that 56% of the chemicals have significant data gaps, and thus their overall hazard couldn’t be assessed. However, 2% of all fragrance chemicals are considered a high concern and 42% are considered potentially high concern based on all the health endpoints. Out of the chemicals with available data, 24% are carcinogens/mutagens/genotoxins, 92% are endocrine disruptors, 90% are persistent/bioaccumulative/toxic (PBT), 35% are reproductive/developmental toxins, and 40% are neurotoxins. BCPP is currently finalizing the report and designing accompanying social media content.
In addition, BCPP’s project with UC Davis researchers to analyze drinking water contaminants is near completion. Tap water samples were taken from low-income households in eight California communities, including four that have elevated breast cancer rates (East SF Bay, South SF Bay, West LA, and South Orange). Water samples were tested for target compounds, specifically estrogenic and mammary carcinogenic compounds, metals, and others. UC Davis is finalizing data analysis, and BCPP is working on translating the findings.
3 Regional Meetings Down, 5 More to Go: Charting Paths to Prevention
BCPP is in the regional meeting stage of this important project, aimed at developing cross-stakeholder partnerships to implement and evaluate high-impact, population-based primary prevention interventions focused on California’s culturally, ethnically, and racially diverse and medically underserved communities. We have held standalone meetings with 22 leaders in frontline communities across California to learn about their health priorities and invite their participation in Charting Paths to Prevention. We also laid the groundwork, recruited 11 cohost organizations, and held 3 regional meetings in San Diego, Los Angeles, and Bay Area to discuss community-based breast cancer prevention strategies. Looking ahead, we are now traveling to the other 5 regions of California to connect and build relationships with the community, to ensure interest in and the successful execution of the remaining regional meetings.
What’s Happening at the EPA? Science Updates
Updates from BCPP’s Director of Science Dr. Rainbow Rubin, now a member of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Science Advisory Committee on Chemicals (SACC), which peer reviews the EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention. In September, Dr. Rubin participated in the U.S. EPA meeting on the Risk Evaluation of the chemical 1,4-dioxane – an industrial carcinogen that is used to make PET (#1) plastic and is a byproduct of the industrial ethoxylation (soap-making) process. It is commonly found in air, water, plastic, and personal care products. Dr. Rubin’s charge during this review process was to evaluate the methodologies used and to make recommendations for how best to protect vulnerable populations. A key component was guiding the EPA on the best approaches to account for exposure to multiple chemicals, as well as exposure from multiple pathways, including breathing air, drinking water, and absorbing through the skin. The final report will be available in the coming months.
RECAP: Hike for Prevention National Series
In October, we concluded our 2023 Hike for Prevention National series. Across three states (Utah, Texas, and California), 170 hikers gathered to raise over $138,000 for breast cancer prevention. Our Salt Lake City, Utah event was led by longtime BCPP friend and supporter Wendy Young, while our event in Tyler, Texas was led by runner and advocate Heather Shirley. BCPP’s new California location at the San Pedro Valley Park was a hit all around, with perfect hiking weather, gorgeous views…and a solar eclipse! We are immensely grateful to all the hikers, walkers, sponsors, supporters, and volunteers who made this year’s Hike for Prevention a success. View photos.
Know someone who would like to start a Hike for Prevention event in their state or city? Please visit the link to our Ambassador program to learn more and share.
NEW: Wear Your Support for BCPP
The official BCPP merchandise store is now open! This is your one-stop shop for the best BCPP merchandise and locally tailored Hike for Prevention gear. From shirts and sweatshirts to baby onesies and totes, we have something for everyone.
Supporter Highlight: Homemade Bracelets
This month we’re highlighting one of BCPP’s youngest supporters, 10-year-old McKenzie, who has recently started a bracelet-making business. For October, McKenzie created a breast cancer awareness bracelet line, and she is donating a portion of the proceeds to an organization on the frontline of the fight – Breast Cancer Prevention Partners! McKenzie is excited to be part of something bigger than herself, and BCPP is honored to be the lucky recipient and to have her support.