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MAKE THE CONNECTION

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

RACHEL CARSON DAY

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.”
Rachel Carson.

Here, Margaret Atwood’s articleon why Rachel Carson is a Saint.

NEWS RELEASE: BREXIT & BREAST CANCER: In this Breast Cancer Prevention Month, the real impact of Brexit on breast cancer needs to be understood

Event hosted by the National Alliance of Women’s Organisations; From Pink to Prevention, and Alliance for Cancer Prevention. As we come to the end of Breast Cancer Prevention Month, we will be considering the implications of Brexit on breast cancer and exploring the answers with a range of experts and campaigners.

Date: Thursday 26 October 11am-1pm
Venue: Attlee Room, Portcullis House

The chances are you’ll never have thought about breast cancer prevention in relation to Brexit. Yet they are linked. For example, our clean beaches and seas benefit from progressive EU legislation. Our health as citizens, consumers and workers most certainly has benefited and continues to benefit from EU legislation. The European chemicals regulation  REACH  is a highly sophisticated, progressive pan-EU system to control toxic chemicals and, though not perfect, is nevertheless regarded as the best in the world. At its heart is ‘the precautionary principle’ which means to take action to prevent harm, even if there is uncertainty.
Continue reading NEWS RELEASE: BREXIT & BREAST CANCER: In this Breast Cancer Prevention Month, the real impact of Brexit on breast cancer needs to be understood

Celebrating A Visionary Citizen Scientist

RACHEL CARSON DAY 27th MAY

Man has put the vast majority of carcinogens into the environment and he can, if he wishes, eliminate many of them. The most determined effort should be made to eliminate those carcinogens that now contaminate our food, our water supplies, and our atmosphere, because these provide the most dangerous types of contact – minute exposure repeated over and over throughout the years.                                                                             

Silent Spring 1962

RACHEL CARSON marine biologist, writer and conservationist

In the year 1962, Rachel Carson was not only another breast cancer statistic, but the woman whose writing skills and scientific acumen shocked the world upon publication of ‘Silent Spring’ in which her research findings of irreversible reproductive and genetic damage to aquatic-life forms resulting from the use of pesticides and endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) were presented in her signature narrative style. Her attention to smaller aquatic life forms at the bottom of the food-chain revealed the multiplier effect for life forms at higher levels, with major predictable effects for we humans in our position at the top of the chain. The changes being observed and recorded by Carson were an early warning of the future scenario for all life forms. As such they still stand as the first scientifically-based predictions of both real and potential harm to life from manmade chemicals.

Fifty years on and the shocking difference between then and now is that there are many thousands more manmade chemicals being produced and released into the environment than the number developed by the smaller scale post-war chemicals industry of Carson’s time. Many of these are linked to breast cancer risk such as EDCs and right now there is a battle to ensure that post-Brexit UK remains within existing EU chemicals legislation (REACH), which is regarded as the best in the world. 
Continue reading Celebrating A Visionary Citizen Scientist

Vital Call: MPs want post-Brexit UK to keep to EU’s main chemicals law REACH

The UK House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) has today published the report of its inquiry on chemicals regulation after the EU referendum, which particularly focussed on the EU’s world-leading REACH system for regulating chemicals. The EAC criticise the UK Government’s lack of openness about its post-Brexit plans, and point out that most respondents want the UK to remain ‘as closely aligned to REACH as possible‘.

The EAC’s main conclusions

    • The chemicals regulation framework established by the EU through REACH is difficult to transpose directly into UK law. Writing EU regulations into UK law could not be done simply by having a line in the “Great Repeal Bill” deeming REACH to apply in the UK. REACH was written from the perspective of participants being within the EU, with much of it also relating to Member State co-operation and mutual obligations, oversight and controls, and freedom of movement of products

Continue reading Vital Call: MPs want post-Brexit UK to keep to EU’s main chemicals law REACH