News broke today that new research shows a pretty harsh reality for the consequences of our exposure to two toxic chemicals that we already knew were harmful to our health: bisphenol A (BPA) and methylparaben. Now we know it is worse than we thought.
The body of scientific evidence has already shown that both can cause significant adverse health impacts that encompass many reproductive health issues, including breast cancer. Now this new research that was conducted by doctors from California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco indicates that not only does exposure to BPA and methylparaben increase your risk of cancer, it has now been shown to have a “triggering effect when it comes to cancer.”
Then, if that weren’t enough, Dr. William Goodson, senior clinical research scientist at California Pacific Medical Center Research Institute and lead author of the study says:
Since most breast cancers are driven by the hormone estrogen, the bulk of the drugs used to treat breast cancer are designed to knock down estrogen. BPA and methylparaben not only mimic estrogen’s ability to drive cancer, but appear to be even better than the natural hormone in bypassing the ability of drugs to treat it.
Source: Study: BPA, methylparaben block breast cancer drugs by Victoria Colliver from the San Francisco Chronicle.
These two chemicals, which are so pervasive in our daily lives increase our risk of breast cancer, drive cancer growth, and then interfere with the drugs that are supposed to help treat the cancer.
So, now that we have this information, what are we supposed to do with it?
1. Read and Share. I am a big believer in educating yourself further so that you can decide what the proper steps to take will be for you and your family. Learn more about BPA and methylparaben and share what you find with others. Here are a few links to give you a start.
- Endocrine Disruptors, why should we care? – Find out more about BPA, the science behind it, and the main sources.
- Tuesday Top Two: two surprising sources of BPA – Two surprising ways we are exposed to BPA that most people have no idea about (although I am happy to say it is becoming better known since this was originally written).
- Simple steps to reduce BPA exposure: new study shows we can make a difference – By following just a few simple steps, we can reduce the amount of BPA in our bodies by 60% in only three days.
- FDA Chemists: BPA in 90% of Canned Food – Information on a May, 2011 report by the FDA finding BPA tainting more than 90 percent of canned foods tested, what the report means, and why it is important.
- What Are Parabens And Why Should You Avoid Them – Exactly what the title says.
- Chemical of the Day: Parabens – Great description of what parabens are, why they are harmful, and the studies to back it up.
- Breast Cancer Fund’s Big-Picture Solutions - Information about the Cans Not Cancer campaign for a safer future in which breast cancer rates have dropped because we’ve reduced our exposure to toxic chemicals.
3. Find Safer Products. These shops are places where they do the hard work for you of finding the safest products for you, your family and your home. It is often helpful to check any new products, ingredients, or companies with the Environmental Working Group’s Cosmetic Database too.
- The Soft Landing is one of the leading online shops for research on safer products for babies and kids.
- Earth Mama Angel Baby® continues to go above and beyond when it comes to safe personal care products for pregnancy, labor, postpartum, breastfeeding, and babies (and beyond!).
- Bubble and Bee Organic is an amazing resource for chemical knowledge and safe personal care products for men, women, and children.
- Our Green House – natural & organic products for the home and baby.
- Shop MightyNest.com for handpicked products to help parents create a healthy home.
- Nubius Organics, for products designed for eco-friendly living.
- Some other name-brands that do not use parabens are: Avalon Organics, Badger, Burt’s Bees, Dr. Bronner’s, California Baby, Weleda.
2. Take Action. You read, you absorbed, and then you made some small with changes as an individual and as a family. Now you are ready to go big and demand safer chemicals for all.
- The Safe Chemicals Act of 2011 for chemical safety reform – Learn more about this crucial piece of legislation and Contact your U.S. Senator and let them know that you support the “Safe Chemicals Act of 2011″ and chemical safety reform.
- Support the Safe Cosmetics Act – Parabens are found in so many aspects of the beauty industry. Our legislative representatives need to hear a demand to eliminate toxic chemicals from the products we all use every day.
- Find an Action – The Breast Cancer Fund has several opportunities to make your voice heard about BPA and other toxic chemicals that contribute to breast cancer risk.
4. Keep Perspective.
- Toxins and Chemicals and Carcinogens, Oh My! – 5 Ways to Stay Sane When Your Green Lifestyle Doesn’t Feel Like Enough – Great suggestions for keeping calm when it feels like everything is toxic and overwhelming.
- Going green with baby steps – I fully believe that one person can make a difference and I fully believe that small steps are often necessary to effect change. Start small and carry on.
Will this new information cause you to think differently about these two chemicals? I know everyone can try at least one of the above steps, which will it be?
Photo Credit: 1. B0006421 Breast cancer cells by Annie Cavanagh. Wellcome Images 2. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month by webandthecity