Marking October Breast Cancer Prevention Month, From Pink to Prevention has launched a 38 Degrees petition entitled No more poison in our hands – Time for a ban on all paper till receipts.
Did you know that every time you shop the chances are you end up with poison on your hands? Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical used to coat till and other types of receipts. It can be readily absorbed through the skin, interfering with our hormones and is linked to breast and prostate cancer, diabetes, obesity, and reproductive and neurological disorders.
Elevated levels of BPA have been found in the urine of cashiers who are the most intensively exposed of all. Indeed, we all have levels of this chemical in our bodies. And now similar health concerns are being raised for a BPA substitute Bisphenol S.
Not only are till receipts toxic, they are yet another source of wastepaper, ending up in the bottom of your bag or filling your purse or wallet. The vast majority of the UK’s 11.2 billion printed daily are increasingly unnecessary given the various electronic alternatives.
It’s time to ban the paper receipt in the UK, following the lead of several countries which have banned or severely restricted the use of BPA in receipts.
The petition will be sent to all major UK retailers, the Health and Safety Executive, Secretary of State for Health, the British Retail Consortium and leading breast cancer charities.
PLEASE SIGN HERE https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/no-more-poison-in-our-hands-time-for-a-ban-on-all-paper-till-receipts
And please share
Helen, Deb & Ho-Chih
Marking the life and legacy of our dearest friend Diana Ward, on Rachel Carson Day.
Every year, at this time, we at From Pink to Prevention campaign take time to mark the life of the extraordinary, visionary Rachel Carson (May 27, 1907 – April 14, 1964). Carson wrote and lobbied the USA government about the impact of toxic chemicals on the environment and human health.
This will be the first year we mark Rachel Carson day without our own extraordinary, visionary friend and campaigner, Diana Ward.
An Exhibition of Original Work by Diana Ward, marking Breast Cancer ‘Prevention’ Month launched on Wednesday 17 October.
On Wednesday 17 October UNISON hosted with a reception a new exhibition of 23 original cartoon works by From Pink to Prevention co-founder Diana Ward. Diana’s art-work is a unique way into the subject of the politics of breast cancer and it reflects on the decades of scientific evidence linking environmental and occupational risk factors to breast cancer. Continue reading
RACHEL CARSON DAY 27th MAY
Man has put the vast majority of carcinogens into the environment and he can, if he wishes, eliminate many of them. The most determined effort should be made to eliminate those carcinogens that now contaminate our food, our water supplies, and our atmosphere, because these provide the most dangerous types of contact – minute exposure repeated over and over throughout the years.
Silent Spring 1962
RACHEL CARSON marine biologist, writer and conservationist
In the year 1962, Rachel Carson was not only another breast cancer statistic, but the woman whose writing skills and scientific acumen shocked the world upon publication of ‘Silent Spring’ in which her research findings of irreversible reproductive and genetic damage to aquatic-life forms resulting from the use of pesticides were presented in her signature narrative style. Her attention to smaller aquatic life forms at the bottom of the food-chain revealed the multiplier effect for life forms at higher levels, with major predictable effects for we humans in our position at the top of the chain. The changes being observed and recorded by Carson were an early warning of the future scenario for all life forms. As such they still stand as the first scientifically-based predictions of both real and potential harm to life from manmade chemicals.
Fifty years on and the shocking difference between then and now is that there are many thousands more manmade chemicals being produced and released into the environment than the number developed by the smaller scale post-war chemicals industry of Carson’s time. Many of these are linked to breast cancer risk and right now there is a battle to ensure that post-Brexit UK remains within existing EU chemicals legislation (REACH), which is regarded as the best in the world.
From Pink to Prevention activities & toolkit this Breast Cancer Prevention Month
Dear friends, supporters and colleagues,
As we find ourselves mid-way through the global fundraising phenomena that is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we ask are environmental and occupational links to the disease ‘an elephant in the room’?
We want to draw attention to a breast cancer narrative that is excluded from the ‘pink’ limelight.
For decades now, scientists and activists alike have argued that the persistent exclusion of environmental and occupational risk factors for breast cancer (eg carcinogens and hormone disrupting chemicals) by government, breast cancer charities and industry is, at the very least baffling and, at worst, obstructing a basic public health right to know. We argue that the time has come for policy-makers to explain why they are refusing to acknowledge the evidence that links these risk factors to breast cancer.
Dear friends, colleagues and supporters,
As we continue our effort to ask The Big Question on environmental and occupational links to breast cancer, here are some links to our latest blogs and campaign updates.
MEETING WITH BREAST CANCER NOW
Earlier this month, Helen Lynn and Deborah Burton met with key Breast Cancer Now staff – Delyth Morgan (chief Executive) and Eluned Hughes (Head of Public Health and Information) to primarily discuss the reasons why their organisation (the UK’s leading breast cancer charity) persists in categorising environmental risks as doubtful along with the body of evidence that does link the two. We also wanted to ask if and when BCN could join with us and start to both accept and act upon the existing evidence (not least, share the information with the public who look to them for guidance). It was a constructive first conversation and we are looking forward to keeping the issue on their agenda.
Our latest blog about the meeting is here and our post-meeting follow up letter in full is here. Continue reading
In this October Breast Cancer Awareness Month, our campaign ‘From Pink to Prevention’ is trying to raise the level of debate about the much marginalised issue of environmental and occupational links to the disease. Sixteen campaigning organisations from England, Scotland, Germany, USA, Australia, Philippines, and several pan-EU networks have signed on to our statement which asks why, despite all the money raised, more and more of us are getting this disease?
In particular, we want to know why the breast cancer charities continue to focus solely on ‘lifestyle’ risk factors such as diet and exercise, while ignoring the potential 60% of breast cancer cases for which they have no explanation. What about the role of chemical, environmental and occupational exposures in this?
We argue that better diagnostics and treatment are not mutually exclusive with looking at how our profoundly polluted environment, homes and workplaces impact on our bodies and health – and we need action on this, if we are to heed the ‘precautionary principle’ .
Dear friends, supporters, colleagues,
From Pink to Prevention –a new campaign
Save the Date for our first campaign meeting on Tuesday 27th January 6.30pm – more details at end of page
Welcome to our new campaign: From Pink to Prevention. We want to:-
- put the questions out there about environmental and occupational links to breast cancer.
- offer up some answers as to WHY primary prevention is persistently ignored.
- make the barriers to primary prevention widely known.
- focus on the vested interests barrier and share that information with the public, media, sister campaign groups, politicians and policy-makers.
- identify some key ‘vested interests’ and view their real and potential impact on breast cancer policy, from government through to cancer establishment.
- provide readily accessible and thoroughly referenced information for the general public.
- offer simple but innovative actions that can be taken to bring about positive change.
A new campaign on breast cancer: environment, occupation & obstacles to getting both of these risk factors taken seriously in the breast cancer debate
FROM PINK to PREVENTION is a new breast cancer campaign that exposes the barriers to achieving ‘primary prevention’ – stopping the disease before it starts. Central to our campaign is one big fundamental question we seek to put to all those individuals, organisations and institutions with the power to make or to influence decisions affecting public and occupational health in general and breast cancer incidence in particular.
Nikola Biller-Andorno, M.D., Ph.D., and Peter Jüni, M.D., “Abolishing Mammography Screening Programs? A View from the Swiss Medical Board,” 23 April 2014, The New England Journal of Medicine
… The Swiss Medical Board’s report was made public on February 2, 2014 (www.medical-board.ch). It acknowledged that systematic mammography screening might prevent about one death attributed to breast cancer for every 1000 women screened, even though there was no evidence to suggest that overall mortality was affected. At the same time, it emphasized the harm — in particular, false positive test results and the risk of overdiagnosis. For every breast-cancer death prevented in U.S. women over a 10-year course of annual screening beginning at 50 years of age, 490 to 670 women are likely to have a false positive mammogram with repeat examination; 70 to 100, an unnecessary biopsy; and 3 to 14, an overdiagnosed breast cancer that would never have become clinically apparent.5 The board therefore recommended that no new systematic mammography screening programs be introduced and that a time limit be placed on existing programs. In addition, it stipulated that the quality of all forms of mammography screening should be evaluated and that clear and balanced information should be provided to women regarding the benefits and harms of screening.
Stéphane Horel and Brian Bienkowski, “Special report: Scientists critical of EU chemical policy have industry ties,” Environmental Health News, 23 September 2013
Seventeen scientists who have criticized plans in Europe to regulate endocrine-disrupting chemicals have past or current ties to regulated industries. An investigation by Environmental Health News reveals that of 18 toxicology journal editors who signed a controversial editorial, 17 have collaborated with the chemical, pharmaceutical, cosmetic, tobacco, pesticide or biotechnology industries. Some have received research funds from industry associations, while some have served as industry consultants or advisors. The stakes are high in the controversy because it involves the European Union’s strategy to regulate hormone-altering chemicals – the first attempt in the world to do so. The new rules would have sweeping, global ramifications because all companies that sell a variety of products in Europe would have to comply.
On the 29th June 2013, From Pink to Prevention organised a toxic tour in Central London. The tour took in various sites of significance in relation to cancer prevention – or rather the lack of action on cancer prevention by government offices and other bodies.
At each venue speakers addressed various aspects in relation to the total lack of action on the part of governments and the cancer establishment on the issue of the primary prevention of cancer (ie stopping it before it starts). They discussed their work on the issue and posted up Blue Plaques announcing ‘Cancer Prevention does not live here’ at each site to commemorate the visit.
Verónica Bayetti Flores, “Are mainstream breast cancer awareness initiatives hurting more than they’re helping?,” Feministing, April 29 2013
Yesterday the New York Times featured an article in its Sunday magazine about breast cancer, awareness initiatives, and what the real effects these initiatives have had on the lives of women. It’s on the longer side, but one that’s framed around the personal narrative of the author – a breast cancer survivor herself – and well worth a read:
Just about everywhere I go — the supermarket, the dry cleaner, the gym, the gas pump, the movie theater, the airport, the florist, the bank, the mall — I see posters proclaiming that “early detection is the best protection” and “mammograms save lives.” But how many lives, exactly, are being “saved,” under what circumstances and at what cost? Raising the public profile of breast cancer, a disease once spoken of only in whispers, was at one time critically important, as was emphasizing the benefits of screening. But there are unintended consequences to ever-greater “awareness” — and they, too, affect women’s health.
London, Saturday 29th June 12-2pm The Alliance for Cancer Prevention and Tipping Point Film Fund in association with The Organic Pharmacy have come together around a programme of events designed to increase the debate and public awareness on the links between breast cancer, the workplace and the wider environment. These events have included two film screenings of PINK RIBBONS INC – one hosted by TPFF and most recently, by the Organic Pharmacy. As part of the Pink to Prevention programme of activity, on Saturday 29th June we are organising a walk with a difference… Cancer Prevention: A Toxic tour. The locations will be centred on the Victoria and Westminster area of London and will have a particular focus on breast cancer. Continue reading