As seen on Frensche, Post by Nicole Parker, BCPP Development Manager
October is traditionally known as Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but for us at Breast Cancer Prevention Partners, it’s Breast Cancer Prevention Month! Currently, 1 in 8 women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer, a stat all too many of us are familiar with.
When I started working at BCPP, one of the things that surprised me was that our exposure to toxic chemicals, beginning even before conception, influences the possibility of a breast cancer diagnosis. Our science-based mission of eliminating exposure to these exposures is threefold: policy + advocacy work, education + engagement, and movement of industries.
Today, I’m going to chat about education and our top tips! When you start to look at toxic products in your household, it’s sometimes overwhelming, but BCPP has some easy recommendations to follow.
My first suggestion is always eliminating fragrance or looking for companies that fully disclose their ingredients. Fragrance ingredients are often secret and contain anything from allergens to endocrine disruptors and carcinogens. The good news is this doesn’t mean you can’t wear perfume, use a floral-scented facial oil, or need to ditch that lemon-scented cleaning product. It does mean you need to look at ingredients though! I recommend using an app like Clearya or Think Dirty to help you sort through those lists that are especially long.
“Our exposure to toxic chemicals, beginning even before conception, influences the possibility of a breast cancer diagnosis.”
Don’t Get Overwhelmed
After my first day at BCPP, I came home, looked around my house, and realized I had to switch out almost everything. But you don’t have to do it all at once! Use your products, and when you run out, find something safer.
Easy Changes You Can Make Today
- Read ingredient labels! Check out our Glossary of Exposures, highlighting substances with the strongest evidence linked to breast cancer.
- Don’t be fooled by natural and organic claims. These words have little meaning in a largely unregulated personal care products industry.
- Clean your house with a wet towel. You’ll capture more grime in your house by dusting with a wet towel, and it won’t stir up dust.
- Make your own products! BCPP has created some safe home recipes, for everything from bath and body to cleaning products, located here.
- Take off your shoes at the door. Keep your home clean by avoiding toxic chemicals tracked in by your shoes.
- Ditch plastic! Plastics can leach harmful chemicals like BPA and phthalates into your food and beverages – and in turn – into you.
- If you’re one of the 1 in 8 who has been diagnosed, BCPP has created a resource guide for you as well, located here.
Choosing safer products is a lifelong process, and our goal at BCPP is to make this easier through policy reform. In fact, in California, BCPP-sponsored legislation had three big wins in September 2020 that were signed into law: Toxic Free Cosmetics Act, prohibiting 24 toxic chemicals in cosmetics in California; Cosmetic Fragrance and Flavor Ingredient Right to Know Act of 2020, making California the first government in the world to require the public disclosure of hazardous fragrance and flavor ingredients; and PFAS-Free Firefighting Foam Act, stopping the use of toxic PFAS in firefighting foam on flammable liquid fires. As CA goes…so does the rest of the country!
Visit our Action Center to help push forward legislative priorities to keep you and your family safe!
As you start to get into the groove of finding new products and replacing the ones you have, continue to visit bcpp.org to stay up to date on the latest science.
Visit our Tips for Prevention to learn even more.
At BCPP, our goal is to live in world where fewer women hear the words “You have breast cancer.” By supporting our work, shopping safer brands, and pushing for policy reform, our collective goal will become a reality.