ENVIRONMENTAL POLLUTION IS FOCUS OF BREAST CANCER MONTH
Activists emphasize prevention, not just detection and treatment
WASHINGTON, Oct. 4 -- A nationwide network of women's
health activists, scientific and medical experts, cancer
survivors and environmentalists today announced they will
join forces in a series of public hearings and conferences
addressing the environmental links to breast cancer.
Co-sponsored nationally by Greenpeace and Women's Environment & Development
Organization (WEDO), the hearings and workshops will be
held in three cities throughout National Breast Cancer
-- Albuquerque, NM (Oct. 14 & 15.), Dayton, OH, (Oct. 22),
and Boston (Oct. 28 & 29).
"Women will no longer suffer and die in silence while the
environment goes ignored or just flat denied in the growing
breast cancer epidemic," said Joan D'Argo of Greenpeace.
"These events are designed to bring the environment to the
forefront of breast cancer prevention, where it belongs."
The conferences will explore in-depth the environmental
factors in the breast cancer epidemic, including chlorine,
pesticides and other toxins as recently reported by the
EPA, radiation from military and industrial activities, and
electromagnetic fields. Special workshops will focus on
issues such as environmental racism, grassroots organizing,
and action women can take to protect themselves and future
The events are the culmination of a year-long effort by Greenpeace and WEDO
to mobilize women from all walks of life and all racial and
ethnic backgrounds, in demanding more government funding
and resources for studying and preventing environmental
causes of breast cancer.
"We need improvements in screening, testing and cures for
breast cancer and other cancers that affect mostly women,"
said Bella Abzug, former New York congresswoman and founder
of WEDO. "Most of all, we need research, resources and
action focused on prevention. It is time for the research
community, government, and the private sector to stop
dragging their feet in examining environmental links to
breast cancer." Abzug is scheduled to moderate the Boston
Last year, Greenpeace released "Chlorine, Human Health &
the Environment: The Breast Cancer Warning," a
groundbreaking report containing scientific studies from
around the world linking chlorine- based pollutants, or
organochlorines, in the environment to breast cancer.
Several noted scientific and medicals experts will
participate in the conferences and hearings, along with
breast cancer survivors, environmentalists and women's
activists. A partial list of speakers includes:
* Dr. Devra Lee Davis, Advisor, U.S. Dept. of Health and Human
* Joan D'Argo, Joe Thornton, Greenpeace Chlorine-Free Campaign;
* Geri Barish, breast cancer survivor and co-chair of 1-in-9: The Long
Island Breast Cancer Coalition;
* Ernest J. Sternglass, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Radiological
Physics University of Pittsburgh;
* Calvin Mitchell, Citizens Clearinghouse for Hazardous Waste;
* Dr. Samuel Epstein, Professor of Occupational and Environmental
Medicine, University of Illinois Medical Center and author of
"The Politics of Cancer";
* Heather Cantino, Rural Action Committee for Pesticide Reform;
* Maria Romero, New Mexico Dept. of Health, Chronic Disease Prevention
and Control Division;
* Maria Chavez, Director, Toxic Victims Association.