Category Archives: Blog

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.

Don’t play hard Brexit with our health – House of Lords.

In light of the upcoming debate in the House of Lords on Monday 5th and Wednesday 7th March discussing what will happen to UK chemicals regulations after Brexit, From Pink to Prevention calls on the Lords not play hard Brexit with our health. For the sake of the health of current and future generations, we hope the Lords will ultimately vote to keep the UK under current and upcoming European pesticide and chemicals regulations. Continue reading Don’t play hard Brexit with our health – House of Lords.

Brexit – no excuse for playing politics with our health.

As the country stumbles towards a shambolic and increasingly disastrous Brexit and just when we thought things can’t get any worse, a leaked government impact assessment report reiterates how the UK will be worse off after Brexit under every scenario studied. The assessment, called the EU Exit Analysis – Cross Whitehall Briefing details the fact that almost every sector and UK region will be negatively impacted, with chemicals, clothing, manufacturing, food and drink being hardest hit, after we Brexit. Continue reading Brexit – no excuse for playing politics with our health.

Brexit & Breast cancer: what does Brexit have to do with breast cancer?

Invitation to a Breast Cancer Prevention Month event – hosted by Helen Hayes MP. 26th October 11 am – 1 pm, Attlee Room, Portcullis House.

Speakers include: Helen Hayes MP, Zarin Hainsworth OBE, Chair NAWO, Helen Lynn, From Pink to Prevention, Hilda Palmer, Hazards Campaign, Nick Mole Policy Office Pesticide Action Network UK.

As we come to the end of Breast Cancer Prevention Month, we will be asking the question ‘what are the implications for breast cancer after Brexit?’ and exploring the answers. 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 done and continues to benefit for EU legislation.

The European chemicals regulation (REACH) is a highly sophisticated, progressive pan-EU system to control toxic chemicals and, though not perfect, is 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. For the UK to be de-coupled from REACH would have a devastating impact on many aspects of consumer, workplace and environmental health and our economic wellbeing.

Please download the Brexit and breast cancer invite.

To reserve a place please RSVP to: Helen Lynn helen@frompinktoprevention.org Deborah Burton: 07779203455

Beyond Brexit and breast cancer risk

This article was first published in the London Hazards Centre Magazine on the 26/6/17.

While you probably won’t have seen the words Brexit and breast cancer prevention appearing in any headline together, they are inextricable linked. Currently, EU health and safety and environmental laws exist to help protect us against the many exposures to harmful chemicals linked to cancer and illness and disease such as reproductive and development effects; infertility; asthma and allergies. While nothing is 100% effective if not implemented and monitored properly, these EU regulations  governing chemical and worker safety are seen as the best in the world, albeit there is always room for improvement.  Thanks to EU chemicals regulation we now have safer workplaces, cleaner beaches, healthier farming methods, and also better chemicals regulation for consumer products including cosmetics, food packaging, pesticides and plastics.

Many of the chemicals we come into contact with on a daily basis in our homes, workplaces and in the wider environment are linked to breast cancer. So what happens if we have a ‘hard’ Brexit removing the UK from being under the jurisdiction of these protections?
Continue reading Beyond Brexit and breast cancer risk

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