What Can I Do?

Take Personal Action

Research is showing that there may be some chemicals in the environment that play a part in who gets breast cancer and who does not. “Environmental chemicals” can be in the air we breathe, the food we eat, the water we drink, and things we touch and put on our skin. Both individual behavior and laws can reduce or eliminate these exposures.

It is important not to overstate the results of current research. The “cause” of breast cancer is not known. The relationship between environmental chemicals and breast cancer risk is suspected but not proven. Much more research is needed before a direct relationship can be proven. However, there are precautionary steps that can be taken to reduce exposures to chemicals.

Here are some tips for you and your family:

In What You Eat and Drink

  • Choose fresh or frozen food instead of canned food as much as possible.
  • Store food in nonplastic containers, like glass, stainless steel and lead-free ceramic.
  • Avoid covering food with plastic wrap.
  • Avoid microwaving food in plastic containers. Use heat-resistant glass or lead-free ceramic containers in the microwave.
  • Avoid products made from polystyrene (Styrofoam). Use paper cups and paper, glass or lead-free containers for storage.
  • Use reusable stainless steel or glass water bottles instead of plastic water bottles.
  • Avoid plastic water bottles with a “7”, “6” or “3” in the triangle on the bottom ♻.
  • Avoid leaving plastic water bottles in your car, out in the sun or in high heat areas.

In Your Home

  • Wash your hands often, especially before eating or preparing food. It will eliminate germs and reduce exposure to unsafe chemicals
  • Repair or replace furniture that is torn or has exposed or crumbling foam.
  • Furniture and baby gear made with polyester, down, wool or cotton are unlikely to contain added flame retardant chemicals. Minimize your contact with such chemicals as much as possible.
  • Foam carpet padding and some draperies are likely to contain flame-retardants. Minimize these in your home to reduce your exposure to the chemicals they contain.
  • Open windows to ventilate your home regularly.
  • Clean your floors regularly and use a damp cloth to dust.
  • Learn to read labels on your cleaning and laundry products. Use natural substances like vinegar to clean windows and lemons to eliminate odors.

In Your Personal Care

  • Wash your hands after handling store receipts.
  • Avoid using hand sanitizer before handling store receipts. The alcohol in hand sanitizers increases the chance of absorbing the chemicals in these receipts.
  • Learn to read the labels of ingredients in your personal care products.
  • Use plant based, fragrance-free products, including when choosing a deodorant.
  • Choose sunscreens with mineral-based filters like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. Wear a hat and sit in the shade when possible.