8 Easy Steps to Avoid Common Chemicals Associated with Breast Cancer Risk
We all know women who have fought breast cancer—it may be a mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, daughter, or neighbor. Since one in eight woman will develop the disease over a lifetime, and nearly 40,000 women die from it yearly, it’s time to look closer at possible causes, while we continue to go for regular check ups and do self exams.
The evidence is mounting that our exposure to common chemicals like phthalates, bisphenol-A (BPA), and parabens play a role in the development of breast cancer. They are found in everything from soup cans to household cleaners and personal care products.
To avoid these dangerous chemicals, Esana’s Dr. Pan emphasizes, “Read labels carefully,” and make sure to “protect yourself from any and all plastics.”
She suggests the following 8 easy steps to begin to reduce the toxic load in your daily life:
- Avoid heating anything in plastic (including plastic wrap and food containers).
- Avoid drinking out of plastic water bottles—it’s best to carry your own glass water bottle.
- Avoid eating soup and vegetables out of cans since most cans include BPA in the lining. Especially look for tomato-based foods in the newer paper tetra packs rather than in cans.
- Phthalates help make plastics soft and pliable and are often found in vinyl products—choose a cloth or nylon shower curtain, for example, rather than one made with PVC.
- Look for kids’ toys labeled PVC-free.
- Avoid products with artificial scents like candles, some household cleaners, and air fresheners—these contain phthalate. Look for naturally scented products or the label “phthalate free.”
- Parabens have been closely linked to risk for breast cancer and are often found in breast tissue. They are easily absorbed through the skin through lotions, creams, and deodorants. Avoid products that list paraben in the base, like methylparaben, for example.
- Check out this database for more information about the chemicals in personal care products http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/.
While we can’t eliminate our daily exposure to every risky chemical, reducing our contact with these common carcinogenic chemicals is a proactive way to reduce risk and stay healthier.