Breast Cancer Prevention: Beyond Pink Ribbons

May 28, 2014 @ 10:00am (AKDT)

The panel of expert speakers included Karuna Jaggar of Breast Cancer Action, Janet Ackerman of Silent Spring Institute, and Connie Engel of the Breast Cancer Fund, discussing the science linking exposures to toxic chemicals and breast cancer, environmental risk factors and the precautionary principle, and ways to prioritize prevention through individual and collective action. Our goal is to inspire you to make choices that eliminate contaminants linked to cancer from your home and community. We also hope you will join the many breast cancer advocates across the country who are working for public policies that will reduce the risks of breast cancer.

Breast Cancer Fund

Breast Cancer Action

Additional Resources from the Breast Cancer Fund:

Additional resources from Silent Spring Institute:

In response to participant questions, Karuna Jaggar has provided the following resources on mammography screening:

Breast Cancer Prevention Tips:

Take action to limit your exposure to harmful contaminants by remembering these Tips from Connie Engel of the Breast Cancer Fund!


  1. Avoid all “fragrance” in anything
  2. Go old school: choose wood, metal, glass
  3. Choose cleaning products with ingredients listed on the label or make your own
  4. Never microwave in plastic
  5. Go for fresh or organic
  6. Install a carbon based water filter
  7. Don’t wear outdoor shoes inside
  8. Wash your hands
  9. Use a vacuum with a HEPA filter
  1. Use your buying power
  2. Engage Locally
  3. Educate others
  4. Engage with decision makers to reform Chemical Policy (TSCA)

Featured speakers

Connie Engel, Ph.D., Science & Education Manager, Breast Cancer Fund

The Breast Cancer Fund works to prevent breast cancer by eliminating our exposure to toxic chemicals and radiation linked to the disease. Connie’s work at the Breast Cancer Fund focuses on translating science to policymakers and the public in ways that are clear, relevant and engaging. She has created programs that use cutting edge technology to explore and explain the science and policy around breast cancer and the environment. She earned her Ph.D. in 2010 from Arizona State University’s School of Social Transformation, where she studied the juncture of science and advocacy in the environmental breast cancer movement.

Karuna Jaggar, Executive Director, Breast Cancer Action, brings a personal commitment to creating health equity and a professional expertise in applied research and policy advocacy to her understanding of the breast cancer epidemic. Recognizing that social injustices and environmental factors put each of us at risk of developing breast cancer, regardless of family medical history, Karuna insists that personal lifestyle choices will not protect us from breast cancer.

As Breast Cancer Action’s executive director, Karuna’s vision for health equity awards every woman affected by breast cancer the power and knowledge to make informed decisions that enable them to take control of their healthcare.  This includes a woman’s right to access affordable treatment options, to create individualized treatment plans that reflect personal values and priorities, and to avoid involuntary exposure to environmental toxins. Karuna is an unapologetic patient advocate for close family members who have undergone treatment for breast cancer.  She is the parent of 2 daughters and aunt to 2 nieces, all under the age of 6.

Janet Ackerman, Staff Scientist, Silent Spring Institute

The Silent Spring Institute is dedicated to innovative science investigating the links between the environment and women’s health, especially breast cancer. Janet Ackerman’s current research focuses on developing high throughput chemical testing methods relevant to breast cancer and identifying the best methods for measuring mammary carcinogens in people’s bodies.  Since joining Silent Spring Institute in 2010, Janet has also contributed to research on the impact of early life exposures on breast development and breast cancer risk, reducing exposures to endocrine disruptors from food packaging, and characterizing groundwater pollution from endocrine disruptors in wastewater.  Her research has been published in Environmental Health PerspectivesScience of the Total Environment, and the Journal of Exposure Science and Environmental Epidemiology.

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