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Monday
Mar052012

I Pledge to Help Prevent Breast Cancer...

...but not the way Estee Lauder wants me to.

There is a breast cancer awareness campaign running on the BlogHer network at the moment. When visiting the site today, I clicked through to see what it was about. Here is the series of images and messages I was shown.

First was the initial ad on BlogHer, with a simple message to connect, communicate and conquer by taking your pledge to prevent breast cancer. "Make a Pledge" it said. Since I am a big proponent of breast cancer prevention and putting more money and effort toward prevention, versus simply focusing on the cure, I clicked to see what it was about.

Next was the message to "select a pledge". The first two, I don't have a problem with (pledge to perform a monthly breast exam and pledge to have an annual mammogram after the age of 40).  That said, I don't see those as measures designed to prevent breast cancer. I see those as measures that support early detection of breast cancer. The third, wearing a pink ribbon, I have issues with, because of all the pink washing that takes place.  So, I opted for "write your own pledge" and typed in:
I pledge to battle pink washing, especially by companies selling products laced with carcinogens.

I even went back and wrote a second pledge:
I pledge to fight for greater regulation of toxic chemicals in personal care products.

After you click on the pledge button, you get a thank you from Estee Lauder. But I'm not so sure they'll be thankful for my pledge.

Wanting to be true to my pledge, I went over to the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics site and used their form to send a message to Estee Lauder, calling on them to stop buying carcinogens and hormone disruptors from chemical companies and putting them into the products that they sell.

And then I wrote this post.

Will you join me in my pledge?
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Reader Comments (11)

Done, done, done, and done!

March 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJaimi

How about pledging to breastfeed your children as a way to help prevent breast cancer?

"Cumulative lactation experience also correlates with a reduction in both breast (primarily premenopausal) and ovarian cancer. Cumulative duration of breastfeeding of longer than 12 months is associated with a 28% decrease in breast cancer (OR: 0.72; 95% CI: 0.65–0.8) and ovarian cancer (OR: 0.72; 95% CI: 0.54–0.97). Each year of breastfeeding has been calculated to result in a 4.3% reduction in breast cancer."

- http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2012/02/22/peds.2011-3552

March 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterZoe Le Good

Did that. :) ... almost 6 years total.

Breastfeeding, exercising, maintaining a healthy weight, not drinking, not smoking, and many other healthy lifestyle choices can reduce your risk of breast cancer. I think people should be educated about those things and encouraged to do them, to the extent that they can / want to.

What worries me more, however, are the environmental contaminants that it is impossible to avoid. Sure, there are some things you can do to reduce your exposure (I never wear any make-up, for example), but the contaminants are everywhere -- in our food, in our air, in the products we use every single day, in the food we eat, and yes...even in both breastmilk and infant formula. Getting rid of those toxins is, for me, the biggest priority at the moment because they are forced on people without their knowledge or consent.

March 5, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterphdinparenting

Wow. I've seen the ads. I think they've even appeared on my site, but never clicked over to read the pledge. It's blatantly obvious that "prevention" isn't the aim of Estee Lauder. I'm glad you caught it. None of those things are prevention.

March 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterKristine

Please don't just throw in the old fat causes cancer stuff - Komen likes to spread that around, but everyone needs to break free from that bit misdirection, too.
From: http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Risk/obesity
"Many studies have shown that overweight and obesity are associated with a modest increase in risk of postmenopausal breast cancer. This higher risk is seen mainly in women who have never used menopausal hormone therapy (MHT) and for tumors that express both estrogen and progesterone receptors.
Overweight and obesity have, by contrast, been found to be associated with a reduced risk of premenopausal breast cancer in some studies."

March 5, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

Aside from pushing for makeup and "beauty products" without toxic chemicals/carcinogens, I'd like to promote the radical idea that women do not need to wear makeup or use beauty products. Men don't. I always wonder why otherwise feminist types insist on perpetuating the strange addiction to makeup. What do they think they need to live up to? (not necessarily this blogger, but the no-makeup message bears mentioning, and I know there are toxins just floating around in the air, too...so not denying that...)

March 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMrs Rochester

I don't wear make-up at all, both because of the toxins and because I simply don't like the way it looks or feels. But I know a lot of women like to and I'd prefer that products be made safer for them.

March 6, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterphdinparenting

I love your pledges & this post. I go out of my way to avoid pink ribbon products unless I completely support the non-profit the company is supporting (ie NOT Susan G Komen).

I'm waiting for a cigarette company to come in pink boxes.

March 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDana K

They absolutely should be safe, very much agreed.

March 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMrs Rochester

It is very disheartening and sad to learn that not everyone has the same agenda. I have given up pink ribbons, and continue to seek out organizations more aligned with my goals. Thanks for sharing!

March 8, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermarci

I avoid buying pinkwashed products if I can. (I think that only once I have "had" to buy a pinkwashed product, and that was because I needed a certain colour of a certain type of yarn for a baby loss memorial blanket.) It drives me nuts that companies that are contributing to cancer by putting out these awful products are pretending like they care about whether or not someone actually ends up with it.

March 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRobbin Abernathy

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