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Just as our holiday gift giving can support breast cancer prevention, here are a few holiday gifts you might want to reconsider, as they may increase breast cancer risk for your loved ones. 

Watch our video for the tips or read on.

Video Transcript

I’m Andrea Dannenberg, a Breast Cancer Prevention Partners volunteer and breast cancer survivor. I’m going to share with you 5 holiday gifts you might want to reconsider, as they may increase breast cancer risk for your loved ones. 

Alcohol: While a bottle of wine or liquor is a common host or hostess gift during the holidays, it’s best to reconsider. Plenty of research links alcohol consumption with breast cancer risk. And, the more we drink, the higher our risk. Reducing how much we drink, lowers our risk. Instead of a bottle of wine, consider bringing sparkling water, or maybe juice or cider. Or maybe bring holiday napkins.  But, this year, think twice before gifting alcohol.  

Toxic Beauty Products: Many cosmetics and bath and body products include toxic fragrances, allergens, endocrine disruptors and known carcinogens. To gift non-toxic beauty products, first check the ingredient labels. We have a link on the blog to a great tool that will check ingredients for you!     

Products Made of Plastic: Plastics can leach harmful chemicals like BPA and phthalates. Plastic food storage and drink containers are especially problematic. When heated, even “microwave-safe” plastic can leach chemicals into food. Instead, gift items made of glass, ceramic or stainless steel. 

Non-Stick Cookware: Non-stick cookware, such as Teflon® products, are made with PFOAa known hormone disruptor. Many studies link PFOA exposure with breast cancer. Instead, gift ceramic or cast iron cookware. 

Water-Resistant or Stain-Resistant Clothing: As with non-stick cookware, most water- and stain-resistant clothing is made with highly-toxic PFOA. To limit exposure, gift clothing made of natural materials without the added chemical treatments.   

There you go: 5 gifts to avoid and some great, safer options to consider this holiday season. Happy holidays! 

1. Alcohol

While a bottle of wine or liquor is a common host or hostess gift during the holidays, it’s best to reconsider. Considerable research links drinking alcohol with breast cancer risk. Reducing consumption is extremely beneficial. Instead of a bottle of wine, consider bringing sparkling water, sparkling juice or cider, or even an herbal tonic. Or maybe a special food to share! You can even gift decorative napkins or simple housewares. This year, think twice before gifting alcohol.  

2. Toxic Beauty Products

Many cosmetics and bath and body products include toxic fragrancesallergens, endocrine disruptors and known carcinogens. Before you choose which beauty products to gift, first check the ingredient labels. Tools like Clearya, an app and browser extension, check the ingredients for you! You can also check out our Glossary of Exposures, highlighting substances with the strongest evidence linked to breast cancer that are best to avoid. 

3. Plastic

Plastics can leach harmful chemicals like BPA (bisphenol A), questionable BPA-substitutes like BPS, and phthalates. Plastic food storage and drink containers are especially problematic. When heated, even “microwave-safe” plastic can leach chemicals into food. Instead, gift items made of glass, ceramic or stainless steel.

4. Non-Stick Cookware

Non-stick cookware, such as Teflon® products, are made with perfluorooactanoic acid (PFOA). PFOA is a known endocrine (hormone) disruptor and many studies link PFOA exposure with breast cancer. Women, particularly pregnant women, and children are most vulnerable to the potential health effects of this exposure. To avoid harmful non-stick chemicals, gift ceramic or well-seasoned cast iron cookware, both of which are naturally non-stick!  

5. Water and Stain-Resistant Clothing

As with non-stick cookware, most water- and stain-resistant clothing is made with highly-toxic PFOA. To limit exposure to dangerous PFOA, gift clothing made of natural materials without the added chemical treatments.   

Andrea-Dannenberg_BCPP-Volunteer-and-Breast-cancer-survivor
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