From the Executive DirectorEDletter

Dear Friends in Prevention,


My sincerest gratitude and appreciation goes out to all of you who supported the Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition in 2014. Both your financial contributions and your dedicated volunteerism help us to continue our work toward preventing breast cancer for future generations. I am inspired by so many of you. 


MBCC proudly made great progress in 2014, and we finished the year with some great events that gave us the opportunity to connect with the greater community, including:

  • The Festival of {Giving} Trees - MBCC was proud to be involved in the 2014 Festival of {Giving} Trees, a four-day extravaganza of family-friendly holiday cheer to benefit breast cancer prevention efforts.
  • City Awake - MBCC took part in City Awake, an ambitious gathering of over 200 organizations for a 10-day festival of connecting and celebrating the City of Boston's vibrant impact community. We were pleased to be able to share our Let's Talk Prevention tour with such a dynamic and forward-thinking group.

We look forward to continuing to spread the word about the importance of disease prevention through our Let's Talk Prevention: Reducing Toxic Exposures tour. We are grateful to St. Vincent's Hospital Cancer and Wellness Center, MetroWest Medical Center and Women and Infants Hospital, and Lawrence General Hospital for hosting the tour in the first few months of the new year.


We are just days away from hosting the 17th annual Lesbians and Friends Dance, the first great party of the year, on January 24th. This fun evening event celebrates the LGBTQA community that has helped make our work towards breast cancer prevention possible.


We are already hard at work on the annual Against the Tide events, which will take place in Hopkinton on June 20th and in Brewster on August 15th. We encourage you to register early and plan to join us for these wonderful family-friendly summer events.


Your support -- along with the work of the MBCC Board of Directors, staff, interns, and volunteers -- helped make our education and advocacy efforts successful in 2014. We look forward to your continued support in 2015 to truly make breast cancer prevention a reality.



Cheryl Osimo signature
Cheryl Osimo
Executive Director
communityMBCC in the Community

The 17th annual Festival of {Giving} Trees took place December 4-7, 2014. This four-day event benefited the Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition, Silent Spring Institute, and the Cancer Center at Harrington Hospital.

The Festival offered a range of events, including two educational events. On the 4th there was a screening of the documentary film Unsafe: The Truth Behind Everyday Chemicals hosted by Tri-State Toyota Scion in Dudley, MA. The film addresses the large-scale implications of the tens of thousands of unregulated chemicals in our air, water, and everyday products. Following the film, there was a Q&A session with Cheryl Osimo, MBCC Executive Director and Silent Spring Institute Co-founder as well as Cheryl Reeve, MBCC Chairwoman. The following day special guest speaker Silent Spring Institute scientist Laurel Schaider, Ph.D., world renowned water quality researcher, hosted a talk at Harrington Hospital in Southbridge, MA.

In addition, State Representative Paul Frost was presented with an award in appreciation of his support for the Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition and Silent Spring Institute's goal of breast cancer prevention.

Let's Talk Prevention: Reducing Toxic ExposuresLTP 


Encouraging a discussion between health professionals and their patients


Let's Talk Prevention Tour Collage  


We continue to spread the word about the importance of understanding the risks of toxic exposures. We are pleased to announce that our patient brochure is now available in Spanish and Chinese, in addition to English, and will be available in Korean in February. We will continue to have our materials translated into  more languages in order to help reach as many members of communities across Massachusetts as possible.


What is the Let's Talk Prevention Tour?

The Let's Talk Prevention: Reducing Toxic Exposures tour is an exhibition and lecture series throughout Massachusetts featuring the Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition's Let's Talk Prevention materials. The tour can be tailored to the specific needs of a community and can include: community outreach table in a lobby/oncology office, exhibition at a health and wellness fair, speaking engagements and lectures, special events, private events, and hospital staff meetings.  We are visiting hospitals, health centers, community centers, libraries, high schools, colleges, and private groups to share the materials and encourage discussions about the reduction of toxic exposures in our communities. 


Where will the tour be next?

January 5th - February 28th: Saint Vincent's Hospital Cancer and Wellness Center, Worcester


January 22: "The Great Healthy Yard Project" presentation, Central High School, Springfield


February 1st - 28th: Women and Infants Hospital, Fall River


February 1 - 28th: Lawrence General Hospital, Lawrence 


March 1st - 31st: MetroWest Medical Center, Framingham


March 1st - 31st: Women and Infants Hospital, Hyannis


If you are interested in learning more about hosting the tour, please contact us. 

Research Updates Video Series
Returning to the very first of our video series, Massachusetts Breast Cancer Coalition Board President Margo Simon Golden explains why it is critical for research to address the environmental causes of breast cancer and the importance of breast cancer prevention.

Why do we believe in environmental causes and breast cancer prevention?

Become an advocate for prevention by clicking the image above to watch and share the video!

Click here to watch other videos in the series.
Widespread Herbicide Spraying from NSTAR on Cape CodNSTAR
As of October 14, toxic pesticide exposures from NSTAR's spraying private residential property under their electrical lines are no longer speculative. Widespread spraying of herbicides drifted outside the NSTAR transmission rights-of-way (ROWs) in Harwich, MA, exposing a horse farm with 16 horses, a few dogs, and the farm owners and workers. Clare Bergh, the owner of Sea Horse Farm reported that no notification of impending spraying had been delivered to her and that during the spraying the wind was blowing 10 miles per hour with higher gusts. A cloud of herbicide blew over the farm, misting horses, water troughs, and hay, as well as bystanders. The owner developed an dense rash all over her torso and arms. A horse boarder substantiated Bergh's observations and reported she could taste the chemical and it caused her mouth to tingle. Her eyes were red and sore after the spraying took place. Click here to watch Clare Bergh's testimony at the Harwich Board of Selectmen's meeting on November 17.

A nearby property owner observed the spraying taking place in the resource area of Smelt Creek, a perennial stream running across the NSTAR easement -- also a violation of state law. Complaints were reported to town departments and officials as well as a variety of state agencies. MDAR (MA Department of Agricultural Resources), the state agency responsible for regulating NSTAR and all use of pesticides in MA, didn't arrive to take test samples for three weeks! By that time there had been two major nor'easters on Cape Cod with heavy blowing rain -- one lasting three days, and one with a hard driving rain lasting a day -- between the spraying and the investigation by MDAR. "Taking swabs three weeks afterward is kind of a lame way to conduct an investigation," Bergh said. "They should have been there a day or two afterward."

Click here for the full NSTAR Update, including immediate actions you can take to prevent NSTAR spraying in your community.

Submitted by Sue Phelan ( or 508-362-5927)

In this Issue



Tip to Reduce Your ExposureTips


Parabens are used in toiletries and cosmetics. To avoid parabens, check for products without parabens as an ingredient or those labeled "paraben-free."

Tip provided by: Let's Talk Prevention: Reducing Toxic Exposures, an educational program to increase discussions about environmental exposures between health professionals and patients. 

Environmental Health NewsNews

Upcoming EventsEvents

Follow our blog to learn more about these events as they approach.
Lesbians and Friends Dance January 24, 2015
Against the Tide
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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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333 Weymouth Street#13 Rockland, MA 02370 

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If you have any questions regarding this newsletter, please contact Cheryl Osimo at