By Christine Wied
The Breast Cancer Fund is promoting research and strategies to reduce the risk of breast cancer as well as other cancers by environmental causes. Here are some of their suggestions for creating a healthy home environment that may reduce cancer risks.
- Use non-toxic cleaning products. There are many simple recipes that you can make yourself with products you may already have at home such as vinegar and baking soda. When buying products look for those that fully disclose all ingredients. Avoid products with synthetic “fragrances.” Also check out the EPA’s Safer Product Labeling Program for a list of companies and products that meet the “Design for the Environment Program” criteria.
- Be careful with pesticides and herbicides. Although pests can carry disease and cause other problems in your house and garden, pesticides used to control them have been linked to a variety of human diseases including breast cancer. The toxic chemicals can linger for years allowing for multiple exposures. Check out the University of California State Integrated Pest Management website for information and safer pest and weed control measures. Locally at Green Thumb Nursery (1899 S. Victoria) look for displays with “Less Toxic Pest Management” tags that direct consumers to more eco-friendly choices for home, lawn and garden maintenance.
- Get rid of or cover old crumbling furniture. In the past, Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers (PBDE’s) were used in fire retardants for furniture, mattresses, foam stuffing and cushions. As these items deteriorate, the PBDE’s can be released into the environment increasing the risk of breast cancer with long-term exposure.
- Avoid chlorine bleach and bleached products. Use non-chlorine alternatives for cleaning and laundry. Look for paper products such as tissues, toilet paper and office paper that are labeled “Processed Chlorine Free” (PCF).
Taking simple steps that can reduce the risk of cancer is far easier than treating it.
Contact: Christine Wied, firstname.lastname@example.org
“Get Your Green On” article for Open Line, October 10, 2012