EDFrom the Executive Director

Dear Friends in Prevention,


MBCC is hard at work developing new advocacy campaigns and initiatives in support of breast cancer prevention. Some highlights include:

  • Our new medical education program Let's Talk Prevention: Reducing Toxic Exposures facilitates the conversation between health professionals and patients.
  • The latest video in our Research Updates series features Silent Spring Institute Director of Research Ruthann Rudel, MS who summarizes Silent Spring Institute's dietary intervention study.
  • We continue to seek legislative support and funding for Silent Spring Institute's water research after the full funding request for $1.2 million to expand their research on Cape Cod and in Central Massachusetts was not included in the FY 2015 House budget.  
  • Sister organization Silent Spring Institute released a new study that identifies 17 types and 102 individual chemicals that are considered priority breast cancer carcinogens. The study outlines how to best measure the presence of these chemicals in women's bodies.
  • Sue Phelan, Board Member of GreenCAPE presents continued concerns over herbicide spraying here in Massachusetts and what you can do to protect your neighborhood from NSTAR spraying. 
  • We joined Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families and Alliance for a Healthy Tomorrow in their Mind the Store campaign.

We invite you to participate, volunteer, spectate, or sponsor this summer's Against the Tide fundraisers on June 21st and August 16th. Your support, and that of our sponsors, has allowed us to hold these inspirational and educational statewide events for the past twenty-two years. Online registration and pledging is open, and 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 pleasant spring.


Cheryl Osimo signature
Cheryl Osimo
Executive Director
Starting the Conversation with Let's Talk Prevention: Reducing Toxic ExposuresLTP


Let's Talk Prevention: Reducing Toxic Exposures is an educational program designed for both health professionals and patients to increase discussions about environmental exposures and chemicals of concern. Many chemicals of concern are industrial chemicals that do not stay isolated inside factories. Studies have found hundreds of man-made chemicals in our air, water, food, and consumer products, as well as in samples of human blood and urine.


To help facilitate these discussions and make this important public health topic more palatable at your next doctor's appointment, MBCC has created a booklet for health professionals and a medical brochure for patients. These documents are available for download and are intended to be used in tandem.

Dr. Patricia Raney, MD is a physician whose specialty is family medicine. Dr. Raney reflects on the value of MBCC's Let's Talk Prevention educational outreach and the intrinsic connection between breast cancer and our environment, "I am grateful that the Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition is starting this dialogue between health professionals and their patients through Let's Talk Prevention: Reducing Toxics Exposure. The message that breast cancer is an environmental issue and we must take steps to reduce our exposure to chemicals of concern is crucial to improving public health. It is with this understanding that I will work to share program materials with my patients to help them take steps to reduce their exposure to common chemicals linked with breast cancer and other diseases. I am very impressed with the booklet and the pamphlet, and this is an excellent and informative presentation that I look forward to sharing with my colleagues."

Minimizing exposure to chemicals linked with negative health impacts can lessen the burden of disease and improve public health. Dr. Michael Misialek reviewed the Let's Talk Prevention: Reducing Toxic Exposures materials and concluded that, "As a physician at Newton-Wellesley Hospital, specializing in Anatomic and Clinical Pathology and a Board Member of Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition, I'm very pleased to see the Let's Talk Prevention: Reducing Toxic Exposures program develop as a resource for patient-doctor engagement. The value of such a program is not to be minimized. This program will provide much needed information about reducing toxic exposures in daily life to physicians and patients alike. I look forward to promoting doctor-patient discussions concerning the link between health and toxic chemical exposures."

We hope that our materials will enable you to have a productive conversation with your patients, with your health care provider, and in your community about reducing exposures.

Learn more about this important public health initiative facilitated by the Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition.  

Research Updates Video Series
We are pleased to release the latest video in this series featuring Silent Spring Institute's Director of Research, Ruthann Rudel, MS. In this segment, Dr. Rudel summarizes Silent Spring Institute's dietary intervention study and provides tips to reduce exposure to Bisphenol A and Phthalates in food and food packaging.

Why is fresh best? A dietary intervention study of food packaging

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

Click here to watch other videos in the series.
MA Legislators Fail to Support  Chemical Exposure Research



Silent Spring Institute's full request for $1,135,000 to expand its research on Cape Cod and in Central Massachusetts was not included in the FY 2015 House Budget.


As part of its mission to prevent environmental causes of breast cancer, MBCC requested funding from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for its sister organization, Silent Spring Institute, to study exposure to toxic chemicals in drinking water and homes in Central Massachusetts and on Cape Cod.  This request also included funding for MBCC to launch education and outreach projects to disseminate research results to the public.


MBCC is thankful for the support of the State Representatives who sponsored, filed, and co-sponsored the funding amendments through the House of Representatives.


Allocating funding for research and educational programs is a crucial step towards protecting public health, and we will continue to seek legislative support for chemical exposure research as the request for funding shifts to the Senate. Senator Daniel Wolf (D-Hyannis) will sponsor and champion Silent Spring Institute's funding request for the FY 2015 Senate budget.


Learn more about the House budget outcome, see a full list of the supporting Representatives, and find out what you can do to support Silent Spring Institute's funding request as the funding is debated for the FY 2015 Senate budget.  



New Silent Spring Institute study reviews priority breast carcinogens and biomonitoring methodsSSIReport


In a new peer-reviewed study, Silent Spring Institute advances breast cancer prevention efforts by identifying the most important chemicals to which women should reduce their exposure and by documenting how to test for the presence of these chemicals in women's bodies. The study was conducted by scientists at Silent Spring Institute and was published on May 12 in a National Institutes of Health (NIH) journal, Environmental Health Perspectives. 


The study identifies 17 types of chemicals as a high priority because they cause mammary tumors in animals, and many women are exposed to them in their day-to-day lives. These include chemicals in gasoline, diesel and other vehicle exhaust, flame retardants, stain-resistant textiles, paint removers, and disinfection byproducts in drinking water. This is the first study to comprehensively compile and recommend methods for measuring the presence of these potential breast carcinogens in women's bodies.

Learn more about Silent Spring's latest study.


Protect Your Family From Herbicide Spraying

The corporate giant NSTAR/Northeast Utilities (NU) and others such as National Grid, the railroads, and MTA are all poised to spray their toxic mixtures of herbicides over residential and public properties statewide. These corporations do not own the land in most cases. They only have easements over the properties and contend they have the right to spray harmful chemicals if they choose. Peer reviewed studies supply ample evidence of potential harm to human health -- especially to pregnant women and children. Last year NSTAR contractors on Cape Cod sprayed in violation of the NSTAR Yearly Operational Plan and the federal law that regulates pesticide use. 


We are on our own to protect our families and drinking water supply from the immediate and future health impacts from this stew of herbicides along with a very high percentage of unknown ingredients ("trade secrets").  

Click here for more, including what to do if NSTAR sprays in your neighborhood.

Submitted by Sue Phelan (info@GreenCAPE.org 
or 508.362.5927)
Mind The StoreMindStore


MBCC President of the Board of Directors, Margo Simon Golden joined with Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families and the Alliance for a Healthy Tomorrow on April 16 for their national "Mind the Store" day of action to raise awareness of toxic chemicals in consumer products found at Walgreens. 


Margo discussed the importance of such an action: "In a state like Massachusetts with such high rates of breast cancer, we urge Walgreens to make this shift to safer products and safer chemicals for our health. Every step we can take to prevent diseases like breast cancer is critical, this epidemic touches too many of us."


Learn more and take action.

In this Issue


Tips to Reduce Your ExposureTips

Herbicides have been linked to hormone disruption, DNA damage, mammary tumors, and developmental toxicity in animal studies. Sue Phelan of GreenCAPE has provided the following steps to reduce exposure to herbicides sprayed in your neighborhood:


Prior to spraying (if you are notified) 

  • Bring in toys, outside furniture, pet dishes, etc.
  • Harvest vegetables from gardens (do not harvest after spraying).  

During and after the area has been sprayed

  • Close windows.
  • Keep children and animals away from sprayed areas until the next significant rain.
  • Leave shoes outside to keep chemicals from getting into your home (herbicides can remain in house dust for years).
Click here for information about NSTAR spraying

Be proud of the small changes you make to reduce your exposure. Start with small steps and increase from there.

Mother's DayMothersDay

In celebration of our mothers, daughters, and this important relationship, MBCC has released its 2014 Mother's Day Appeal. Now is the perfect time to think of our own mothers' health and do all we can to protect our daughters. Click here to read our Mother's Day Appeal in full. 


Environmental Health News


Breast Cancer Incidence Screening and Mortality: A 25-year followup


New Study Questions the Benefits of Mammography Screening Programs


Breast Cancer Mortality Rates and Race


The Trouble with TSCA: Protect Public Health, not Toxic Chemicals


 American Congress of Obstetricians: Reform can curb toxic exposures 


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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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