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5 tips to reduce your risk and protect the planet

When we make protecting Mother Earth from toxic chemicals a priority, we are also prioritizing prevention of breast cancer and numerous other health issues.



Annie Leonard
Annie Leonard

As the writer and host of The Story of Stuff, Annie has inspired millions to work toward a sustainable future.

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California's Safer Consumer Products Law

There are some chemicals and applications that warrant urgent action, such as phthalates in toys or carcinogens in cosmetics.

When a chemical is particularly harmful or used in products marketed to vulnerable age groups, the Breast Cancer Fund takes targeted action.

Unfortunately, there's a bigger issue at work: our entire chemicals management system is broken. Right now, chemicals linked to diseases like breast cancer can be used in everyday products without warning to consumers. That's where the California Safer Consumer Products program fits in.


What kinds of products contain chemicals linked to breast cancer?

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The foundation of this initiative is two state laws that the Breast Cancer Fund helped secure passage of in 2008. These laws granted the state authority—for the very first time—to regulate the chemicals used in everyday consumer products and to create a public online database of health hazards associated with these chemicals.

The Breast Cancer Fund has been working for the last four years to ensure proper implementation of this important program.

Now the Brown administration is poised to finally begin doing the work. Regulations outlining the specifics of the program are currently being vetted through a formal approval process and are slated to be finalized on July 1, 2013.

Once the program begins, there is much work to be done, but we are anxious for this important milestone so that we can stop talking about how to eliminate toxics in products and actually start doing the work.