Be Safer: Tips to reduce your breast cancer risk

May 2019 – Sharima Rasanayagam, PhD, Director of Science at Breast Cancer Prevention Partners, joined us Around the Table to discuss environmental toxins that are linked to cancer. Breast Cancer Prevention Partners (BCPP) is the leading national science-based policy and advocacy organization working to prevent breast cancer by eliminating our exposure to toxic chemicals and radiation.

Here are top tips from BCPP that can help you make simple changes to protect your health and wellness:
1. Read ingredient labels

There are hundreds of ingredients linked to cancer, endocrine disruption, and reproductive harm in personal care products, cosmetics, cleaning products and food packaging. Know what you are buying. Read and avoid. Check BCPP’s Glossary of Exposures to learn more.

2. If you don’t know what’s in it, don’t use it

Labeling loopholes have allowed companies to avoid disclosing ingredients on the labels of household cleaners, food packaging, and hair and nail salon products. Buy from companies committed to full ingredient disclosure. Otherwise, leave it on the shelf.

3. Avoid fragrance

Fragrance (or parfum) is a cocktail of ingredients, and each fragrance can include dozens of potentially harmful chemicals. Avoid purchasing and using personal care products, cleaning products, clothing, and household goods with added fragrance as often as possible. Again, read the label.

4. Don’t be greenwashed or pinkwashed

Watch out for products designed to look environmentally friendly 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.


California just got one step closer to exposing toxic fragrance and flavor chemicals in beauty and personal care products! On May 29 the CA Senate voted 23 to 10 in favor of SB574, a bill sponsored by Senator Connie Levya, that will help expose secret, toxic fragrance and flavor chemicals in cosmetics. Now BCPP and their partners are off to the California Assembly to get this law passed! Stay tuned…


Visit their website to learn more about the work does to protect our families, our communities, and future generations from toxic harm.