An Ounce of Prevention: Tips from the Breast Cancer Fund
The Breast Cancer Fund's mission is to help expose and eliminate the environmental causes of breast cancer. Their Tips for Prevention advice is worth reading for cancer survivors and all people who want to avoid the chemicals, environmental factors and ingredients that are linked to cancer and other diseases.
Choose Safe Cosmetics
Among the many helpful recommendations they provide to raise awareness of cosmetic and personal care product safety, is the basic rule of choosing natural products with the fewest simple ingredients as possible. This common sense approach will help begin the process of eliminating dangerous chemicals and toxins.
In addition, they recommend:
- - Avoid fragrance, which can include hundreds of toxic ingredients.
- - Use truly natural products and avoid empty claims of "natural" or "organic."
- - Read labels completely, avoiding words you do not recognize and can not pronounce.
- - Follow your nose when choosing a nail or hair salon, ensure they are using proper ventilation.
Also, be sure to avoid their list of "top offenders," regardless of brand:
- - Hair dyes, especially dark permanent dyes.
- - Liquid hand soaps with triclosan/triclocarban.
- - Nail polish and removers with formaldehyde, DBP or toluene (which can be contaminated with benzene).
- - Skin lighteners with hydroquinone.
- - Heavily scented products.
- - Moisturizers, ointments and skin creams with petrolatum (which can be contaminated with PAHs).
- - Fungicides, shaving creams, hair gels and hair coloring containing nonylphenol.
- - Hair spray, gel, mousse or shaving cream that contains isobutane, that can be contaminated with 1,3-butadiene.
- - Sunscreens with UV filters that mimic estrogen.
Create a Healthy Home
We agree with the Breast Cancer Fund, prevention and protection should begin at home.
To avoid bringing chemicals and toxins into your home, follow these tips:
- - Toss or cover your old furniture, cushions and mattresses, which can contain toxic flame retardants.
- - Use simple, non-toxic cleaning products like baking soda and other alternatives.
- - Use commercial pesticides (to poison ants, roaches, etc) sparingly, linked to a variety of human diseases.
- - Use alternatives to chemical herbicides, including salt, vinegar, soapy water or rubbing alcohol.
- - Avoid using chlorine bleach and bleached products, instead use products that are PCF.
Eat to Live Healthier
The saying goes, you are what you eat. This is certainly true of the chemicals you may be eating and the increased risk of disease they cause. The Breast Cancer Fund has sound advice on how to eat and live healthier:
- - Eat fresh fruits and vegetables and avoid canned due to increased exposure to BPA and the like.
- - Eat as much organic food as possible to avoid the harmful chemicals in herbicides and pesticides.
- - Eat hormone-free, organic meat and dairy to avoid hormones and the chemicals of what the animals consume.
- - Catch and eat healthier fish by only buying wild-raised fish and bake/broil it to avoid mercury and chemicals.
- - Take care when grilling, avoid over grilling and scrape the black char from food to avoid carcinogens.
Protect Your Family Everyday
All plastics are not created equal, especially when it comes to safety and protecting your family from toxic chemicals. The Breast Cancer Fund advocates the need to understand which plastics are safer than others, we agree.
- - Be careful when using plastic in the microwave, even so-called microwave safe plastics.
- - Cook with stainless steel or cast iron pans and avoid aluminum pans.
- - Avoid non-stick cooking surfaces, which contain chemicals that are released in high heat.
- - Avoid bottled water, including jugs and single serve which contain BPA among other chemicals.
- - Avoid BPA in baby bottles, child cups and soft plastic toys.
Protect Yourself from Other Factors
Beyond locking yourself in a bubble, there are steps you can take to minimize the risk you face from environmental and beyond-your-control factors.
When you're out and about, take these steps:
- - Stay away from second hand smoke and if you smoke, quit.
- - Protect from the sun with natural sunscreens and avoid chemical sunscreens.
- - Find safer alternatives to fight germs and avoid anti-bacterial agents like Triclosan.
- - Avoid dry cleaners and buying clothes that are dry clean only, to avoid Tetrachloroethylene.
- - Take care around EMF (electromagnetics fields) found near wireless devices, computers and the like.
Source: Tips for Prevention from The Breast Cancer Fund
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