raise awareness about the importance of research into the prevention of breast cancer, and they point out how little this area is being funded relative to how much goes towards research into treatments or a cure. The group urges consumers to change their spending habits and support organizations that fund prevention research rather than purchase products with a pink ribbon on the label. What's the problem with the pink ribbon? Something called "pinkwashing" (a term I first heard Annie Leonard use), which occurs when big corporations get consumers to buy more of their products by projecting an image of leading the fight against breast cancer when in reality they make matters worse. Examples include Ford, whose vehicles' exhaust includes carcinogens, which is especially ironic in light of a recent study that found breast cancer is associated with traffic-related air pollution. Then there's Avon, L'Oreal, Revlon, and Estee Lauder, whose personal care products contain known or suspected carcinogens. While it is no doubt important to improve treatments and find a cure, it is equally vital that we research the causes of breast cancer, test widely used chemicals' toxicity levels, change legislation to ban known carcinogens, and raise public awareness about how to prevent this disease.
Read the article here, and check out the following related links:
- Breast Cancer Action Montreal: this is the group who wants us to switch from pink ribbon products to prevention research
- Think Before You Buy Pink: the title says it all, this website has more details about pinkwashing
- Annie Leonard's Story of Cosmetics: watch this video to learn more about toxins in personal care products (I advertised this a few months ago)
- Less Toxic Guide: a Canadian resource for identifying harmful chemicals in beauty and cleaning products
- traffic-related air pollution and breast cancer research study (as the publication is ahead-of-print, currently only the abstract is available, but check back later for the full article)
Don't be deceived by pinkwashing!