In January 2019 we lost our long-time friend and campaigning comrade, Diana Ward.
Words cannot express our sense of loss at her not being there with and for us, as she has been for more than 25 years.
Di covered so much ground in her writing, activism, art and travels. In all ways, she was an ice-breaker and her analysis on the politics of breast cancer remains as incisive now as it was when she first started out on her journey to bring public awareness and political action to the issue.
It was an honour to work with her and have her as a dear and close friend. She leaves a powerful legacy of speaking truth to power. A legacy that will continue through our work.
We are remembering Di in a number of ways…
We had a busy year!
At the start of the year and throughout the Spring, we continued to lobby MPs and Ministers for the UK to stay within EU Chemical regulations after Brexit; we held our annual meeting with leading UK breast cancer research and fundraising charity Breast Cancer Now to argue the long overdue need for them to recognize and act on the scientific evidence linking environmental and occupational links to breast cancer; we took FPTP campaign materials to Labour Conference in September and to end the year, we mounted an ambitious exhibition by our co-founder Diana Ward to mark October ‘Breast Cancer Prevention Month’.
Every day of our lives, from pre-birth to death, we eat, drink, breathe and handle countless numbers of synthetic chemicals. We wear them, we rub them onto our skin and hair, we wash ourselves, our children, our pets, our cars and clothes in them. We sit, sleep, drive, walk and run both in and on them. We spray them on our gardens, our worktops, and into the air in our living and work spaces. We clean our cars, houses, teeth and tools with them. We decorate ourselves and our homes with them. We write, paint and play with them. This lifelong low-level exposure to hormone disruptors and carcinogens has a health impact.
Throughout 2018, as part of the Brexit debate, we have been part of the lobby to ensure the UK stays inside the EU Chemical Regulatory regime known as REACH. Helen Hayes MP has been incredibly supportive of our work on this. She hosted our Westminster Portculllis House event ‘Brexit and Breast Cancer’, and submitted a Written Parliamentary Question on this same issue to Secretary of State for the environment Michael Gove on behalf of From Pink to Prevention . In February, we met again with senior staff at Breast Cancer Now to keep the pressure up for them to acknowledge the overwhelming scientific evidence that links environmental and occupational risk to breast cancer and to carry this information in all their public-facing information materials.
Continue reading Our 2018 Roundup
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 MAKE THE CONNECTION
Join us on Wed 17 Oct 5pm.
An Invitation to ‘Make the Connection’ UNISON HQ 130 Euston Rd, Kings Cross, London NW1 2AY
An Exhibition of Original Work by Diana Ward, marking Breast Cancer ‘Prevention’ Month. Exhibition, Reception, Speakers
We’re delighted that UNISON are hosting (with reception) a new exhibition of 25 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.
Ever think about what’s in the fragrances we use daily, you know the ones we liberally spray, and rub onto our bodies, or those we use to scent our hair and mask the smell of sweat? Do we give a second thought to those we use to ‘clean’ our homes and ‘freshener’ our indoor air or what about the ones we are repeatedly exposed to at work?
Today a new landmark report released by the Breast Cancer Prevention Partners – Right to Know: Exposing Toxic Fragrance Chemicals in Beauty, Personal Care and Cleaning Products – reveals the shocking truth. Unlabelled harmful fragrance chemicals linked to breast and other cancers, reproductive and neurological disorders and adverse impacts on the respiratory system are hidden in the personal care and cleaning products such as shampoos and deodorants.
Every May 27 we mark Rachel Carson Day – a visionary scientist, campaigner and author of The Silent Spring.
This Rachel Carson Day we are sharing our FPTP toolkit. Please share! Ongoing awareness raising is vital, given the decades of resistance by the ‘cancer establishment’ (government, research breast cancer charities and industry) to address the issue.
As part of this effort earlier this year, in February, we met again with senior staff at the leading UK breast cancer charity Breast Cancer Now. Our primary task in our discussions with the organisation remains two-fold: to keep the pressure up for them to acknowledge the overwhelming scientific evidence that links environmental and occupational risk to breast cancer and leading on from that, to carry this information in all their public-facing information materials. We argue it is to deny women the full picture on breast cancer risk to be ‘airbrushing’ this aspect of the disease out of the picture.
And government too, needs pushing.
Over the past 12 months, as part of the Brexit debate, we have been part of the lobby to ensure the UK stays inside the EU Chemical Regulatory regime known as REACH. Helen Hayes MP has been incredibly supportive of our work on this. Last October, she hosted our Westminster Portculllis House event ‘Brexit and Breast Cancer’, and she recently submitted a Written Parliamentary Question on this same issue to Secretary of State for the environment Michael Gove on behalf of From Pink to Prevention and our partner The Alliance for Cancer Prevention.
There are ever more studies linking everyday exposures to harmful chemicals to ill-health, including breast cancer. And more of the public are becoming aware of the problem, often in spite of the mainstream – be it the ‘pinking’ of breast cancer and superficial (or worse, biased) media reporting in relation to risk factors, or the failure of both breast cancer research charities and government cancer plans to include or address environmental and occupational risk factors.
Rachel Carson could clearly see why these deliberate omissions will, in the end, take their toll on the health of all living creatures.
“We poison the gnats in a lake and the poison travels from link to link of the food chain and soon the birds of the lake margins become its victims. We spray our elms and the following springs are silent of robin song, not because we sprayed th e robins directly but because the poison traveled, step by step, through the now familiar elm leaf-earthworm-robin cycle. These are matters of record, observable, part of the visible world around us. They reflect the web of life or death that scientists know as ecology.”
Here, Margaret Atwood’s articleon why Rachel Carson is a Saint.