With October come cooler weather, Halloween candy, and a deluge of pink ribbons signaling National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. While you’ll find the symbol on everything from cocktail shakers to cosmetic products, the most important message—that of prevention—often gets short shrift. We think the conversation needs to shift, starting now.
If you’re wondering how to prevent a disease that seems so tied to family history, it might shock you to learn that only half of breast cancer cases can be tied to traditional risk factors like genetic inheritance, diet, and reproductive history.1
Increasingly, science is pointing to environmental links to this disease. In 2010, the President’s Cancer Panel found that the true burden of non-genetic, environmentally induced cancer has been “grossly underestimated,”2 and a recent project by 300 international scientists concluded that even chemicals that are not carcinogenic on their own may be linked to cancer when used in combination with each other, even in very low doses.3
We need to prevent breast cancer and the myriad other diseases and disorders with strong environmental links before they start. That’s why Beautycounter is a company dedicated to prevention. Our mission is to move the market and policy away from toxic chemical use and toward safer, cleaner, greener chemicals.
We do this by making safer products, and we have a robust list of 1,500 chemicals that we will never use in our products, because they are linked to cancer, hormone disruption, and other health issues. Being truly focused on prevention also requires us to gauge the safety of ingredients we do use, which is why we screen every potential ingredient for safety before deciding if we will use it. We are pushing our industry for better ingredients and more transparency, partnering with other health-minded companies to undertake groundbreaking research projects, and lobbying for the reform of state and federal bills that keep toxic chemicals on the market.
Finally, we’re working to prevent cancer by educating our field of Consultants, Members, Clients, and friends. We amplify and support their personal stories and experiences and connect people with our trusted non-profit allies, like the Breast Cancer Fund, one of the only organizations dedicated to preventing breast cancer before it starts.
Every single day, not just in the month of October, we work toward a vision—a world with a drastically reduced number of women diagnosed with this terrible disease. We know that when we as a society take chemicals linked to cancer out of cosmetics, as well as food and manufacturing, we will help save lives. We hope you will join this movement.
Read more about our $30,000 gift to the Breast Cancer Fund in honor of their work to prevent breast cancer.
1Kruk j, Aboul-Enein HY (2006). Environmental exposure, and other behavioral risk factors in breast cancer. Curr Cancer Ther Rev, 3-21.
2http://deainfo.nci.nih.gov/advisory/pcp/annualReports/pcp08-09rpt/PCP_Report_08-09_508.pdf intro letter