Tag Archives: Endocrine disruption

Girl Guides and Breast Cancer (Cross Post)

Originally written for Girl Guides of Canada and published on January 25th, 2012

Girl Guides and Breast Cancer on National Wear It Pink Day

National Wear it pink day banner 2012National Wear it pink day banner 2012

For several years I walked in the Weekend to End Breast Cancer in Montreal. As a result, I was au courant with the research and of course the desperate need to find a cure. I saw stories of hope but also, on the flip side, I noticed that the incidence of breast cancer was on the rise.

I walked beside survivors, I held the hands of those undergoing treatment, and I also watched Evy, my dad’s partner, fight valiantly and lose her battle with the disease. The harsh reality is that 1 in 8 women will develop some form or breast cancer.

My daughter’s last Girl Guide Unit had 43 girls and four Guiders. According to statistics, six or more of them will get breast cancer. That is not okay with me – how about you? Are you a Guider, a Girl Guide or a parent? Are you okay with that number?

What can we do about it?

Well for starters today, as a sign of our awareness and our commitment we can Wear It Pink today, for starters, and only as a symbol, and then the actual work begins…..

Is there really a CURE for cancer? I personally don’t think so, and although much-needed research dollars make it to projects and programs developing better medications and supporting those undergoing treatment through pink ribbon campaigns, I don’t think the solution lies in buying more bread, batteries or gasoline with a pink ribbon on it. In fact, sad but true some products being sold with pretty pink ribbons on them are known to contain carcinogens.

NO. The real answer, the ONLY answer that empowers us is in prevention!

As Girl Guides “we take action for a better world!” PREVENTION, through education and action is our essential next step!

HELLO LADIES: Newsflash! Our breasts are next to our armpits, well for some of us maybe a little lower but that is not the point here.  This is not rocket science, nor am I a doctor, but why in the world should we, would we, put toxic, or known cancer causing chemicals next to our breasts?

You know in our arm pits?
Where we sweat (or rather, glow) to release toxins,
You know through our pores,
Those holes in our skin where stuff can go in and also come out,
Why would we put poison there?

But how do you know what’s safe?  That is a little tricky. Unfortunately, there are no standard regulations in place yet to protect us in this area. What we really need is legislation for safer cosmetics, better environmental regulations and we need to know the truth about what’s really inside our products.

There are amazing organizations advocating for our well-being. I am happy to share some of their great work with you here.

  • The Story of Cosmetics can save lives, watch this video as an investment in your health and share it with those you love. Guiders, depending on the age of your girls some info can be shared in your units, if not with your girls, their parents. This has a lot of great information.
  • Another phenomenal organization and one of the most successful in environmental advocacy in Canada is Environmental Defence. They work diligently to make a positive impact here in both environment issues and health issues in our country. Their new campaign, Just Beautiful, is all about how safe, or rather how unsafe, our cosmetics are. Their mission is “to challenge, and inspire change in government, business and people to ensure a greener, healthier and prosperous life for all.”  That sounds an awful lot like the Girl Guides’ mission.
  • A Quebec organization on a similar mission is Breast Cancer Action Montreal, and one of their projects to share important information is through Femme Toxic here is a link to the top 20 toxic ingredients we need to avoid. Breast Cancer Action Montreal can even do presentations and informative workshops on making healthier choices that can assist in cancer prevention.
  • Skin Deep through the Environmental Working Group does tons of research and provides you with data and safety information on hundreds of the most popular brands of skin care products. Look up your brand to get an idea of its safety.

National Wear It Pink Day is a day to raise your awareness, and START informing yourself on what is next. Cancer doesn’t look at the calendar to decide when is the best time to move in, EVERYDAY is a day for us to learn and act in our own best interests, commit yourself to learning something about cancer prevention today, and take action on prevention!

This post was written as the Guest blogger for Girl Guides of Canada

Other posts written for Girl Guides of Canada were: Green Camping and Green of Red, Orange, Yellow and Gold Leaves posts on GirlGuidesCANblog.


What is the big deal with Plastic Water Bottles?

So the other night I was at a meeting getting grilled. What in the world is the big deal with water bottles, I was asked?

Today I watched a woman empty the trash from her car into the trash can at the gas station. Among her disposables were 7, yes that’s right 7, plastic water bottles all with varying amounts of water still in them went INTO the trash can.

I am going to tell you what the big deal is and why I am saddened by what I saw:

1- There is no doubt that her health is or could be impacted by the water she drinks from these bottles. Endocrine disruption is a serious issue which can lead to infertility, and contribute to other illnesses that plague our society including learning disabilities, birth defects and cancers.

– Plastic bottles leach chemicals into the water. According to a study (CBC News), the longer water is stored in plastic bottles, the higher the concentration of a potentially harmful chemical.

2- If she has children, chances are they too are plastic bottle babies, and could suffer from fertility issues as a result of the endocrine disruption. It is difficult to find data on “infertility” but the trends are definitely in MORE people seeking help with fertility issues than ever before.

– Endocrine disruptors can leach out of plastics causing an increasing amount of infertility rates among other troubling gland and hormonal problems. (Natural Resources Defense Council)

3- The bottles that were trashed are one of the leading causes of our environment’s health issues. Those bottles don’t even have a chance to make a valuable contribution back to our society. And now the chemicals that leach into the water in the bottles are going to be leach into the ground or our oceans, impacting the health of wildlife too.

– It is interesting to note that National Geographic says for every six bottles we use; only one makes it to the recycling bin.

4- The bottles themselves were made because of our dependence on petroleum based fuels. Why in the world do we need to exploit a non-renewable natural resource like oil to put our tap water in so we can put it in our cars and bags?

– Approximately 1.5 million barrels of oil—enough to run 100,000 cars for a whole year—are used to make plastic water bottles, while transporting these bottles burns even more oil. (Tree Hugger.com)

5- Her pocketbook is being exploited too, seriously water is free and yet people are happy to pay more for tap water than they do to put gas in their cars.

– Tap water is often subject to more stringent regulation and testing than bottled water. It costs a fraction of the cost from the tap. It is cleaner, cheaper, and thus healthier. (Natural Resources Defense Council)

The solution to all this; to save you money, positively impact your health, and support the wellness of the environment is to take the plunge invest in a TOP quality bottle and help to encourage the cultural shift away from a use-and-toss mentality. Opt for a TOP quality stainless steel bottle such as a Klean Kanteen which is the safest alternative to plastic and should last you a lifetime! Receive a free neoprene bottle sleeve with a Klean Kanteen bottle purchase at eCause. We were thrilled to read a story that was recently released; Colleges moving away from Plastic Water Bottles. Also do enjoy this great video on the Water Bottle industry too! this was done by the Story of Stuff people with Annie Leonard.