EDFrom the Executive Director

Dear Friends in Prevention,

Despite such a frigid winter, this year's imminent spring season brings growth and the launching of new endeavors for breast cancer prevention with the Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition (MBCC).

Our campaign to support state funding for research on environmental links to breast cancer is critical. With state funding, our sister organization Silent Spring Institute will be able to advance its chemical exposure research, and MBCC will be able to offer both existing and new education and outreach projects. Please take a moment to read the article below and take action to support this funding. 

I am grateful for MBCC to share the video of Silent Spring Institute Executive Director Julia Brody, PhD with you. Please advocate for prevention by sharing the MBCC video series with your family and friends, and encourage them to do the same.

MBCC is humbled to have been selected as an honoree of the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center's annual event the one hundred. In June as tribute to our dedication to breast cancer prevention, we will be recognized at their red carpet event in Boston.

Preparations are under way for this summer's Against the Tide fundraisers in June and August, and we need your help to make these events successful. Whether you contribute as a participant, volunteer, or sponsor, you're important to MBCC. It's your support that allows us to hold these inspirational and educational statewide events year after year. Against the Tide continues to draw new partners together in support of prevention. Online registration is open and we have launched Facebook events for both event locations. To help you get started, our website provides Against the Tide fundraising tips and tools.
Thank you for your continued support, and best wishes for a happy spring.


Cheryl Osimo signature
Cheryl Osimo
Executive Director
Research Updates Video Series
We are pleased to release the latest video in this series featuring Silent Spring Institute Executive Director Julia Brody, PhD. In this segment, Dr. Brody presents evidence from epidemiology for the links between breast cancer and the environment.

What do we Know About Environmental Causes of Breast Cancer? Answers From Epidemiology and the Lab
What do we Know About Environmental Causes of Breast Cancer? Answers From Epidemiology and the Lab

Become an advocate for prevention and take steps to reduce your exposure -- click the image above to watch and share the video!

Please click here to watch other videos in the series.
Ask MA Representatives to Fund This Research!


Research Advocacy Campaign Image


Working toward the goal of breast cancer prevention, MBCC is advocating for its sister organization, Silent Spring Institute, with a request for state funding to conduct water quality research to investigate herbicides and consumer product chemicals on Cape Cod and Central MA. This funding request also includes support for MBCC to launch education and outreach projects to disseminate research results to the public. 




Call or email your State Representative today and ask him/her to call Representative Brian Mannal and volunteer to co-sponsor this funding request. Click here to find your State Representative's contact information.   


Feel free to use our sample letters as a model, but please note this tip from our contacts at the State House: personally written comments carry more weight than formulaic sample letters. 


Click here for a description of the proposed research 

What California's New Flammability Standard Means for Massachusetts
Couch - Flame Retardants


On February 21st, representatives from MBCC attended a presentation at Harvard University by Executive Director of the Green Science Policy Initiative, Arlene Blum, PhD, to discuss the potential impact of California's new flammability standards on Massachusetts. Our sister organization, Silent Spring Institute, helped to organize this meeting and Research Scientist Robin Dodson presented findings of their flame retardant research.


As you may know, California's new flammability standard (TB 117-2013) went into effect in January 2014. Since flame retardant chemicals have been detected at high levels in our homes and bodies, and they have been linked to health problems including cancer, infertility, and birth defects, this change is an environmental health victory!


The new standard changes the way furniture is tested for fire resistance. Rather than requiring that the inner upholstery withstand an open flame for 12 seconds (resulting in the use of high volumes of chemical flame retardants), the new standard involves a smolder test to the surface of the furniture. Most importantly for our health, the new standard was designed to reduce the reliance on chemical flame retardants and included exceptions for all baby products so they will never be treated with chemicals to meet a fire standard.  


What does this mean for Massachusetts?

Click here to read more
House Chemical Bill Fails to Protect Public from Toxic Chemicals


On February 27th Representative Shimkus (R-IL) unveiled the "Chemicals in Commerce Act," as a "discussion draft" proposal to reform the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). This is the latest step in debates over reforming TSCA, which has not been updated since it was passed in 1976.  


MBCC is a longtime active member of the coalition, Safer Chemicals Healthy Families, and agrees with their expert analysis of this bill. Unfortunately, the bill seems to fail to better protect public health from the multitude of common chemical exposures we face today.


Click here to read more 

NSTAR Update From Sue Phelan of GreenCAPE
NSTAR Spraying Protesters
NSTAR Spraying Protesters


The continuing saga of the NSTAR spraying on Cape Cod and Martha's Vineyard (see earlier MBCC newsletters, link in sidebar) involves NSTAR submitting yet another plan to spray the Cape and Martha's Vineyard in the spring of 2014. Click here to see the NSTAR Yearly Operational Plan (YOP) for 2014. Please contact us if you are an abutter to NSTAR's Rights-of-Way (aka ROWs). 


NSTAR's contractors are spraying the same herbicides in most towns in their service areas throughout New England. Call your town and ask to be notified when they receive NSTAR's Yearly Operational Plan (YOP) and ask your town to pass a resolution objecting to the spraying-as all 15 towns did on the Cape. See our website for a resolution template www.GreenCAPE.org and for more info on rights-of-way spraying and how to stop it.


Click to read the full text and take action

In this Issue


Reduce Your Exposure

Car exhaust  & air pollution

Energy efficiency tips to reduce your exposure and lower the presence of harmful chemicals in air pollution:

1. Try to switch to energy efficient appliances and make an effort to conserve energy daily (turn off the lights!). This will reduce the presence of harmful chemicals in air pollution from energy generation.

2. Whenever possible, choose energy efficient or electric vehicles. This will reduce your own exposure to harmful chemicals at gas stations and lower concentrations of auto exhaust chemicals in our air.

Be proud of the small changes you make to reduce your exposure. Start with small steps and increase from there. For more tips, click here.

Massachusetts General Hospital Honors MBCC

MBCC has been selected as an honoree of the one hundred in 2014!

The one hundred
is an annual event celebrating individuals and organizations who have made strides in the movement to eradicate cancer. It is created and sponsored by the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center.

MBCC Executive Director, Cheryl Osimo, and Board President, Margo Simon Golden, will attend the annual dinner of the one hundred on June 10th to receive this award.

Public Health Advocates Find Flame Retardants Follow Familiar Formula

Study: Receipts may Expose Clerks to Chemical

Pharmaceuticals, Perfluorosurfactants, and Other Organic Wastewater Compounds in Public Drinking Water Wells

New Evidence for Toxics in Food Packaging

Scary New Evidence on BPA-Free Plastics

New Republican chemical bill backed by industry, but environmental advocates object

Upcoming EventsEvents

SSI 20th Anniversary   

Against the Tide 2014 Jun 21 and Aug 16

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About MBCC
The Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition (MBCC) is dedicated to preventing environmental causes of breast cancer through community education, research advocacy, and changes to public policy. MBCC is the only education and advocacy non-profit in the country working closely with an environmental research organization toward breast cancer prevention. Thank you for supporting our efforts toward breast cancer prevention. Learn more.

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