Kick off to our Valentine’s Day Count Down

Last week was a busy one for breast cancer news with Komen’s devise decision to withdraw Planned Parenthood support, followed by an apologetic reversal. While we posted on Thursday to “stop the politics and focus on prevention”, we want you to know that we are angered by the Komen move. However, their disregard of environmental causes of breast cancer is also disturbing to us. On Friday, the new movie, Pink Ribbon, Inc. was launched in Canada, bringing attention to many of the frustrations we feel about pink-washing. Ultimately, we also know that the Komen fund has been responsible for many critical studies and educational opportunities for which we are grateful. Like so many powerful entities, there seems to be both good and bad.

One of their commissioned studies recently released from the Institute of Medicine reinforced our mission of sharing information with young college-aged women and their mothers. “The report urges a life-course approach to studying breast cancer because new information suggests that women and girls might be more susceptible to some risk factors during certain life stages.” –IOM.  With this in mind, we turn our attention to sharing information about the breast-cancer causing chemicals on your plate – Valentine’s Day!!

Today through next Tuesday, the POB authors will post their insights on the gifts we associate with the holiday to help you make the safest selections for your loved ones. From chocolates to fragrances, there are chemicals we should avoid. Tomorrow, for example, Christine will tell us about the importance of choosing to give only organic chocolates to avoid Lindane, a DDT-era and globally banned pesticide which continues to be used in some cocoa-producing regions. In the most recent study available, three-quarters of chocolate samples contained Lindane residues. This nasty endocrine-disruptor has been linked with breast cancer. On Wednesday, Gabrielle will share about lingerie. On Thursday, Heather will introduce you to romance foods; Friday will be Emily with perfumes and fragrances; and Saturday, Heather will come back with information on flowers.

By Sunday, Kristin will share about many of the chemicals in cosmetics and where to find help. Specifically, Skin Deep is the Environmental Working Group database which aids us all in our purchases of personal care products. Monday, Gabrielle will assist those with DIY gift ideas and on Valentine’s Day itself, we’ll share the excitement of our interactions with UMass students over the weekend. The entire team will be in various locations across the campus to share tips and tricks for Valentine’s Day purchases. We hope you enjoy our excitement in sharing the conversation about chemicals in everyday products and breast cancer, while we leave the politics to others and focus our energy on prevention for you!

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