Toxic Chemicals and Pink Ribbons

It’s that time of the year again, where everything turns pink. NFL football is currently on the TV in my house and even it is covered in pink. This may seem great, breast cancer is a horrible disease that has impact me personally as my childhood best friend’s mom lost her battle with breast cancer a few years ago, and I miss her dearly.

But there is a hidden cost to all this pink. You may have heard the term, pink washing. It comes from the fact that many of the products that carry the pink ribbons from Susan G. Komen are linked to cancer. I personally feel cures for cancer are great, one of my best friends is battling thyroid cancer right now and I’d love for her to have a cure, but even better would be preventing cancer. If we prevented cancer my friend’s mom could still be here and my other good friend would still have her thyroid. If you ask me it’s unethical to put breast cancer ribbons on products that may cause cancer. Why would we want to encourage people to consume possible¬†carcinogens to donate a few cents to breast cancer research?

There are two great groups fighting these issues, the Breast Cancer Fund and Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families. The Breast Cancer Fund is helping to find ways to prevent cancer and will only take money from companies if their products don’t contain possible carcinogens. And Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families is working to get the Safer Chemicals Act passed, which will help keep us all safer.

Take Action

  • You can help by skipping the pink ribbon products, which often are donating very little and are marked up in price, and donating to the Breast Cancer Fund and/or Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families. These two groups are doing great work to help prevent cancer in the first place.
  • Tell Progresso that their pink ribbon campaign is hypocritical and urge them to remove the toxic BPA from their cans.
  • Sign the Safer Chemicals Healthy Families’ petition pushing for chemical reform.
  • Spread the word about pink washing. Let friends and family know that those pink ribbons may be doing more harm than good.
  • Reduce your personal toxic chemical¬†exposure. You will find lots of ways to do that on this blog and by learning about the ingredients in the products in your home.

 This is part of a toxic chemical carnival, hosted by Diane at Big Green Purse. Be sure to check out the other posts as well.


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  1. says

    I’m glad to know there are others who feel the same way – I just put up a post on my blog on this very same issue. It’s hard to speak out about the problem of pink washing and the lack of emphasis on prevention because people think you’re hateful. They don’t see how they’re being scammed into buying items that can actually cause cancer and are merely making corporations richer.

    • says

      Yeah, to me this issue is more important because of how breast cancer has impacted my life with the loss of my childhood best friend’s mom. She was like a second mom to me so it was very hard to watch her struggle with something so horrible. I pretty much lived at the hospital during her last days. I slept a few hours each night and would take a backpack and my food and rarely left during the day. It is not something anyone should have to watch, let alone go through. And even if she had been cured, the “cures” are horrible as well. I hated seeing her go through chemo.

      Now I have a friend struggling with thyroid cancer and she is quite young and still has a long road ahead. While thyroid cancer is called a “good cancer” because the death rate is very low, it’s horrible to see her feel so terrible all the time. I HATE cancer and I hate those that profit off of it and also those who profit off of selling products that cause it.

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