What’s Proctor & Gamble Really Doing About Breast Cancer Awareness?

Our friends at the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics urge you to resist the “pinkwashing” that happens during breast cancer awareness month, and to ask companies like Proctor & Gamble to stop using ingredients that are linked to breast cancer. Action needs to follow awareness.

Here’s their letter:

Dear Supporter,

October is breast cancer awareness month. We’re sure you noticed; you can’t miss the deluge of pink ribbons everywhere, including the cosmetics aisle.

We agree that it’s important to draw attention to this disease. For us, that means getting rid of the toxic chemicals linked to breast cancer, and urging companies to think in terms of prevention.

Which brings us to this: Last month, Procter & Gamble announced that it will give 10 cents to early breast cancer detection efforts for every new person who joins the company on Facebook. We agree that early detection is important. But we think P&G should start at square one, and promise to stop using chemicals linked to cancer, hormone disruption, and interference with cancer drugs.

According to the Skin Deep database, P&G still uses parabens – in particular, methylparaben – in hundreds of its Cover Girl, Max Factor, Infusium and other cosmetics products.

Parabens are compounds widely used as antimicrobial preservatives in cosmetics products, including underarm deodorants. They’re also estrogen mimickers, and have been found in breast tumors.

new study from California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco found that methylparaben (as well as the chemical BPA, used in food can linings and other applications) can not only cause healthy breast cells to behave like cancer cells, but also interfere with the effectiveness of tamoxifen, an important breast cancer drug.

Tell P&G that if the company really wants to do something about breast cancer, it should stop using methylparaben and other chemicals linked to cancer or hormone disruption in any of its products. That’s the kind of commitment that will really indicate the company is working to protect women’s health.

Thanks for all you do to spread the word about this important issue and to help us end pinkwashing.


Mia, Stacy, Lisa, Marisa, Cassidy, Janet and all of us at the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics

[Photo by innpictime]

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